NYTimes: After Benazir Bhutto

十二月 27, 2007

nucifera: 巴基斯坦的事件在我们这一带铁定不如许多娱乐新闻来得更加火红,但是巴基斯坦的问题绝对值得作为任何回教国家的一面镜子——包括马来西亚。

这里是巴基斯坦的一点背景。穆沙拉夫总统,既是国家的领导人也是军队的大头头,这使得他成了名副其实的专制领袖。他不是什么善男信女,渴望这美丽的宝座能够永远坐下去。即便如此,美国政府还是甘愿花钱支助他,原因无他,主要因为他肯听话,使得巴基斯坦是美国作为反恐战争中非常有重要的一个基地和成员。

但是好景不长在。

近来巴基斯坦纷乱的起源可以简略地归结到这么的一个事件上,那时,穆沙拉夫除去了一个公正的法官。出乎穆沙拉夫意料的,民众对此反应非常激烈。美国的处境也因此变得非常尴尬。然而,美国还是需要这位听话的总统,尽管他接下来引发了非常要不得暴乱和暗杀活动。美国为此坚持巴基斯坦必须进行真正的下一届的选举。

这就促成了后来贝纳姬的回国。

…………………………………………………………….

Editorial
Published: December 28, 2007

Benazir Bhutto was a flawed and undeniably courageous leader. Her return to Pakistan two months ago raised hopes that her country might find its way toward democracy and stability. Her assassination on Thursday is yet one more horrifying reminder of how far Pakistan is from both — and how close it is to the brink.

Ms. Bhutto’s death leaves the Bush administration with no visible strategy for extricating Pakistan from its crisis or rooting out Al Qaeda and the Taliban, which have made the country their most important rear base.

Betting America’s security (and Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal) on an unaccountable military dictator, President Pervez Musharraf, did not work. Betting it on a back-room alliance between that dictator and Ms. Bhutto, who had hoped to win a third term as prime minister next month, is no longer possible.

That leaves Mr. Bush with the principled, if unfamiliar, option of using American prestige and resources to fortify Pakistan’s badly battered democratic institutions. There is no time to waste.

With next month’s parliamentary elections already scrambled, Washington must now call for new ground rules to assure a truly democratic vote.

That means a relatively brief delay to allow Ms. Bhutto’s party, probably the country’s largest, to choose a new candidate for prime minister and mount an abbreviated campaign. Washington must also demand that Pakistan’s other main opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, be allowed to run. And it must insist that Mr. Musharraf reinstate the impartial Supreme Court judges he fired last month in order to block them from overturning his rigged election.

Mr. Musharraf is stubborn. Washington will need to send the same message to Pakistan’s military leaders, perhaps the ex-general’s only remaining backers.

Ms. Bhutto and her father and political mentor, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, were democratic, but flawed political leaders – imperious, indifferent to human rights and, in her case, tolerant of gross corruption among close associates. The father was deposed by a military coup and then hanged. The daughter was twice elected and twice deposed. But both had one undeniable asset: electoral legitimacy — legitimacy that the generals and the Islamic extremists could only seek to destroy or, in Mr. Musharraf’s case, hope to borrow.

The Bush administration has to rethink more than just its unhealthy and destructive enabling of Mr. Musharraf. It also must take a hard look at the billions it is funneling to Pakistan’s military. That money is supposed to finance the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. But, as a report in The Times on Monday showed, Washington was lax in monitoring, and much of it has gone to projects that interested Mr. Musharraf and the Pakistani Army more, like building weapons systems aimed at America’s ally, India. Meanwhile, Al Qaeda and the Taliban continued, and continue, to make alarming gains.

The United States cannot afford to have Pakistan unravel any further. The lesson of the last six years is that authoritarian leaders — even ones backed with billions in American aid — don’t make reliable allies, and they can’t guarantee security.

American policy must now be directed at building a strong democracy in Pakistan that has the respect and the support of its own citizens and the will and the means to fight Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Pakistan is a nation of 165 million people. The days of Washington mortgaging its interests there to one or two individuals must finally come to an end.

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