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.