Feb 19, 2008

NY Times Editorial: Chance for Pakistan - and the US

Twilight of the Dictators: A Chance for Pakistan — and the U.S.
Published: February 20, 2008

The White House has long insisted that there was no choice but to look the other way as Mr. Musharraf jailed journalists and lawyers, dismissed the Supreme Court and declared emergency rule. Islamist extremists, we were told, would win any fair democratic fight.

Instead, even with a rigged system, the moderates managed to win. Now the question is whether the Bush administration can take this opportunity and develop a sensible policy that focuses both on building stable democratic institutions in Pakistan and winning popular support for combating Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

President Bush must quickly reach out to Pakistan’s newly elected parliamentary leaders, many of whom resent the United States for its uncritical support of the former general. Mr. Bush could calm some of their anger by publicly warning to Mr. Musharraf that the United States will not tolerate any further political meddling. Read more

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