US asked to recognise failure of Pakistan policy
By Khalid Hasan
WASHINGTON: The United States must recognise the analytical failures of its current Pakistan policy considering that President Pervez Musharraf’s rule fostered fundamentalism and it is only through democracy that Pakistan can be turned back towards moderation, according to an analysis published here.
Raj Purohit, a senior fellow at the Washington think tank, Citizens for Global Solutions, writes in the journal Republican Eagle that the US should support Pakistani efforts to secure a UN-led investigation into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, which will be a critical first step towards the restoration of the rule of law in Pakistan.
The people of Pakistan need to believe in their government and this investigation must take place as soon as possible. The reinstatement of the Supreme Court chief justice and other judges must happen soon and constructive US support for such a move may be helpful during the transition. The US should support Pakistan-led efforts to address the challenges of the North West Frontier Province and it may be necessary to secure international donor assistance for the area and the US should work with the Pakistan government and financial institutions like the World Bank to generate both the funds and the necessary technical assistance required.
It is important to note that past democratically elected governments in Pakistan have historically been undermined by charges of corruption. The US should encourage the new government to adopt global best practices to ensure that past errors are not repeated. The US needs to be willing to take a low profile towards Pakistan in the months ahead and roll back fundamentalism through Pakistani-centric response.