The tragic death of Benazir Bhutto has left her nation in shambles as members of the Pakistan Peoples Party march through the streets shouting slogans about the “General Killer” who they blame for her assassination. The out pouring of sympathy and respect for the brave Pakistan leader has, unfortunately, transformed a flawed person into an heroic icon. Ms. Bhutto, as prime minister, supported formation of the Taliban and undoubtedly was well aware that nuclear knowledge was being conveyed to other parts of the world. But, she did possess the quality of bravery and this is something President Musharraf must now demonstrate during the long night his nation now confronts.

What can President Musharraf do in order to unite his grief stricken country? He must first recognize that a victory for his Pakistan Muslin League in next week’s election will only further fracture Pakistan. Musharraf must rise above party concerns and reach out to the PPP and his opponent, Nawaz Shariff. A plea from the president to his countrymen to vote for PPP candidates and those of Shariff would resonate with people chanting hatred toward him. This approach would cast him as a statesman who has abandoned partisan party politics in order to unify his divided nation. He could appoint a bipartisan commission to thoroughly investigate and reform the notorious ISI which is believed by many to have had a role in the assassination. Regardless of whether the rumors are accurate, the leadership of the ISI must be thoroughly revamped in order to restore public confidence.

President Musharrf has never displayed statesmanlike qualities because in his heart there is a hunger for order and control. He may wind up selecting the road of authoritarianism or he can walk down the more precarious road to democracy. If PPP candidates and Shariff win control of Parliament, they can unite with the president and address issues of poverty and terrorism. The alternative is further division, further chaos, and further terrorism.

  • God’s Lil Princess

    Oh My! Prince Fred,
    So much said in so little words, You know and I know the American KING has a hand in this action. I do not believe Musharraf begain with these ideas at all. Look who the only head of this war did SPEAK to and often, look at the big picture here. He creates havoc with what he touches, He is Evil to the core and standing neck deep in the S__!

    He tried consoling him, urging him and I HAVE no doubt teaching him how to be KING! of a democracy? If this death brings only one gift to this world, it will be the unravelling of the web. I pray the truth be known and The KINGS will crumble. Perhaps some water borading would be in order huh? maybe we will get to the bottom of this terrorist who points false fingers at the WORLD! leading the new to doom and dishonesty, the World is afraid to know the truth as it is unfathomable for an American to deliver such crimes in Office I agree. I wish it were not so, but I saw the last 8 years with my own eyes as I was watching. Yes I enclude his running campaign and if the Christian majority had of been paying attention instead of weeping over his salvation! They TOO would have seen. I did not cast one vote for him, I watched.

    My Prayers go out to Pakistan and my heart is broken and crushed to the point I can’t breath, yet he sleeps well? Yes there is a trail. who will be brave enough to follow it? could it be you? or You the World?

    I say over and over it is a World problem and he must be stopped or it will get much worse. I beg you Please listen. I love my World xxxooo

  • David Venezia

    I enjoyed your productive suggestions, Fred. Most everything I read about Musharraf says that he is an untenable ally. While this may prove to be true, he has nevertheless won a five year term as president. I don’t agree with the allegation that Bush has corrupted Musharraf. When I look at Mr. Musharraf’s actions both before and after his successful miltary coup, I don’t see anything less than authoritarian power-mongering. Mr. Bush seems, for all intents and purposes, to be a friend of the devil, but there was plenty of evil in the world before he stole his election in 2000. So while Musharraf’s history does not bode well for taking your advice Fred, I think the advice is good, and deals circumspectly with a situation that confronts us because of current political realities.