by Doug McArthur
The importance of Pakistan in the security and stability of the world has suddenly got the world’s attention. The attempt on former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s life upon her return to the country in October 2007 after years of exile has highlighted the country’s instability and political violence.
The risks posed by the situation in Pakistan are immense. As goes Pakistan, so go the peace and stability of the world. If the Pakistani riddle cannot be unravelled, there is virtually no hope of stopping Al Qaeda and world terrorism more generally. Pakistan – not Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt or Saudi Arabia – is the operating base for Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Pakistan is the only country in the world with a modern nuclear arsenal controlled by sympathizers and supporters of terrorists who hate the West. In any ranking of international risks, Pakistan arguably occupies the top position.