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.

Pakistan is about to change dramatically. The stakes have become very high. The outcome is unclear but of vital interest to us all. Much depends on the West and the United States in particular. The final test may be whether there is more confidence in authoritarian dictators than volatile democrats. Put this way, the question excites fierce passions and strong opinions. Canada, given the contribution and sacrifices it has made in Afghanistan, has a claim to a say in all of this. If there is to be hope for stability and a strong offensive against Taliban and Al Qaeda forces currently being given sanctuary in Pakistan, Canada and the West must support the power-sharing deal proposed by Benazir Bhutto. This will require robust and unequivocal support for free and fair elections and for Bhutto when she is elected prime minister in those elections, as she almost certainly will be.

The origins of Pakistan

Pakistan was born out of a volatile combination of almost equal measures of hatred, fear, manipulation and error. The British played their part by encouraging Muslim-Hindu mistrust. The indigenous politicians used mistrust and conflict to concentrate and solidify popular support for their respective factions. Religious hatred was strong within the general population in certain regions, and particularly in the north of today’s India, where there was a large Muslim population.

Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the leading Muslim politician prior to independence and the acknowledged founding father of Pakistan, envisaged a modern liberal secular state with a majority Muslim population. He viewed Islam as a civilization, a culture and a social order, not a state religion. The army was to be solely defensive, designed to protect against outside threats, and government was to be constitutional, democratic and popular.

Things did not work out as he planned. Hatred and fear of Indians and Hindus became the focus of political discourse, justifying special measures to control and dominate state institutions. None of the elites found constitutional democratic government particularly to their liking, and most were more comfortable continuing the nonelected officials’ government in the style of the Raj. It was for this reason that Pakistan had neither a constitution nor democratic elections for a very long time. The first constitution came in 1956 and was modernized in 1973, and the first national elections did not occur until 1970.

The power of the military

One of the realities of Pakistani politics and government is the unique power and influence of the military. Generals have exercised absolute control for 31 of the last 50 years of Pakistan’s history. Their rule has often been ruthless, violent and unpopular, except for short periods in the early days after each military takeover.

The dominance of the military is virtually without parallel in modern states. When it operates as a dictatorship, with direct control over the political and governmental institutions, there is no check on the military’s ability to use and abuse power. Even during democratic interludes, it is virtually impossible for governments to impose their will on the military if it resists. Nothing important in Pakistan can be considered without senior military leaders being involved. During the short periods when democratic rule has prevailed, as in the 1990s, the military used influence, intimidation and corruption rather than direct authority over state institutions, but it was still the ultimate authority. Political leaders are always just one arrest way from loss of office, and perhaps their lives. Every democratically elected leader has had to learn this lesson, often in very hard ways.

President and Chief of the Army, General Pervez Musharraf, is a military dictator

The current President and Chief of the Army, General Pervez Musharraf, is a military dictator in the Pakistani tradition who, like his predecessors, talks of Pakistan’s need for tutelage and protection from itself. He warns of threats from without and dangers from within that can only be thwarted by a strong military state. India is the danger of choice from outside, while the risk of radical fundamentalists taking power is the expressed focus of the danger from within.

Since the latest coup in 1999, Musharraf has exercised total executive and legislative control. In his own words, “At this moment what Pakistan is facing needs a unity, a unity of command over important organs of the state that includes the military, the political and the bureaucracy. A unity of command over them. The unity of authority over them. And I give that unity through maintaining the uniform.”1 He meets openly with senior officers to decide key government matters without any consultation outside the military, and makes no pretense that matters are decided otherwise.

Pakistan today is a military dictatorship as authoritarian as any in its modern history. An elected Parliament is dominated by members of a corrupt and self-perpetuating party, the PLM-Q or “King’s Party,” which came into office after the election of 2002, the results of which were fixed by the military authorities. Parliament plays little part in lawmaking and governing. The prime minister and cabinet members have no real authority. State authority is exercised regardless of laws and the constitution. Thousands of people having no association with internal or international terrorism have been killed by state militias for their political activities and beliefs, even larger numbers have been jailed or have “disappeared,” the rule of law has been ignored and the courts have been stripped of their authority.

Democratically elected leaders in the past have been accused of being equally guilty, and the so-called democratic interlude of the 1990s was problematic in a number of respects. Corruption was rampant, government was ineffective, elites monopolized power and political intimidation was far too common. However, great care must be taken in claiming moral equivalence with the years since. While it is neither within the scope nor the point of this article to make a detailed comparison of the two periods, there is little in the earlier period to compare with the abuses of human rights and life, limb and property under the current regime.

Rule by elites

Elite competition and control have represented a longstanding problem in Pakistan and a major factor in the perversity of the country’s politics. Following independence in 1947, Pakistan had no developed political institutions. It immediately came under the control of elites that included wealthy industrialists and middle-class professionals emigrating from India, bureaucrats and feudal landowners from the Raj and army officers. Migrants from India moved en masse to West Pakistan, where the elites grouped, and the economy became concentrated in the hands of 22 Muslim families, mostly migrants from India. These families remained part of the power clique that either ruled or contested for power in Pakistan until the end of the last century. Bengalis, concentrated in East Pakistan and representing more than half the population, were considered unworthy of any real role in government and were largely left out. Punjabis, who made up a large trading and small business class in the west before independence, were relegated to secondary roles, and Pashtuns from the northwest frontier and Afghan border area and Baluch from the west were mistrusted and suspected of being disloyal.

This set a pattern for the governing arrangements for a decade after independence. Elections were constantly postponed, a constitutional process was paralyzed for many years and state power became the preserve of self-serving elites who neither wanted nor could risk democracy. Government became corrupt, incompetent and paralyzed. Only the army could force a solution, and General Ayub Khan seized control in 1958. He and the army leaders took over the instruments of power, operating in collaboration with Punjabis who had been largely excluded from the elites of the preceding period.

The regime considered East Pakistan of secondary importance, impossible to defend and a potential weakness. It believed that the dominance and defence of West Pakistan was the highest priority. The inevitable secession of East Pakistan in 1971 led to a loss of 53 per cent of the population and to a much-reduced Pakistan dominated by Punjab. The military was totally discredited, and to this day the whole affair has left a scar of insecurity and a fear of regional unrest. The army was replaced by a civilian leadership under the most popular and charismatic leader in Pakistan’s history, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Unfortunately, Bhutto pursued the tradition of South Asian socialism established by Nehru, and the economy performed poorly over the 1970s. Furthermore, his government presided over numerous factional and regional conflicts, not all of which were his responsibility. The result was to create a new opening for the army: in 1977 the army commander Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq took power and Bhutto was eventually murdered by the government. A new liberal constitution developed under Bhutto and then virtually ignored by him was voided, and an army-directed reconstruction of Pakistan began.

Pakistan redefined

These events were a turning point in Pakistan’s development. This time the army was intent on redefining Pakistan in ways that would address what it perceived as weaknesses and threats. The pattern of changes that followed 1977 has been long-lasting and in many ways permanent. The army regained the confidence it had lost after the defeat in Bengal. The prevention of further secession and dissolution became an obsession. Hatred and fear of India were used to justify many things, including a strong centralized armed state. The Soviet Union was an additional threat and an ally of India, and thus a close relationship with the United States was essential.

Politics and elected governments were blamed for much that was wrong with Pakistan and political parties were demonized. Never again would the army let itself be overwhelmed by a popular elected government as it had been by Bhutto. From then on, the army was to provide the essential discipline needed at the centre of the state and was to be the unifying force in Pakistani society. Traditionally a force for secularism, the army henceforth promoted Islam as the dominant belief system in the country. Islam was thus elevated to a state ideology. All institutions, including the constitution and the army itself, were systematically Islamicized, with immense long-term consequences.

Two external conflicts were given overriding attention: Kashmir and Afghanistan. Kashmir involved a longstanding grievance with India, the much hated and feared enduring enemy and threat. Afghanistan, either as a Soviet-dominated satellite or as an independent nation, threatened the stability of Pakistan, and thus justified perpetual vigilance. It was feared that the Pashtuns in Pakistan along the border with Afghanistan might ally themselves with the Afghan side and force further loss of Pakistani territory – Afghanistan has never accepted the legitimacy of its border with Pakistan, the so-called Durand line, defined by the British in the late 19th century. This fear was used to reinforce the need for vigilance toward events in Afghanistan.

Symbols of Pakistani pride

The legacies of these conflicts have been the Mujahidin, the military intelligence service (the ISI) and nuclear arms. All three are now enduring symbols of Pakistani strength and pride, and are used to unite Pakistanis behind the military’s central importance and ingenuity.

The Mujahidin, a kind of Pakistani-backed militia, were first organized to carry the fight to Indians in Kashmir and then to the Soviets in Afghanistan. The successful organization of this Islamic force fighting for the greater cause of Islam and the destruction of foreign infidels has long been seen as a key Pakistani asset.

The ISI has been essential to the organizational and logistical support of the Mujahidin, and the Mujahidin-ISI axis has assumed a central strategic role in long-term security. A result is that the intelligence service has become a powerful and much-feared element in its own right in Pakistani affairs. Major parts of the ISI are dominated by fundamentalist Islamic ideologues, and the ISI continues to provide critical support to radical extremists – including the Taliban and Al Qaeda – as it has historically in the Afghan and Kashmir struggles. Retired ISI senior officers continue to operate in murky and informal networks, and are the authors of many of the most important state decisions taken to defend the nation.

The nuclear bomb has been justified as a deterrent and a possible instrument of last resort in the Indian conflict. But there is more to it. The nuclear bomb has assumed its own independent status in Pakistan’s identity. It unites the country and acts as a symbol of Pakistan’s power and importance by assuaging a deep and continuing anxiety that Pakistan is either not as good as other countries or not respected in the world. On the ground in Pakistan, at political rallies and large public meetings, the widespread enthusiasm and admiration for Pakistan’s nuclear achievement can be seen and heard. It proves that Pakistan cannot be pushed around or overlooked in the making of important world decisions.

The truth is that Pakistan’s possession of nuclear weapons does make it a force to fear and be reckoned with, but the fear in the international community is much like the fear of a mad uncle in the attic who threatens to burn the house down and destroy all those living in it. A conflagration cannot be discounted, but how and when it might happen is impossible to predict. Faced with this reality, the international community has become confused and uncertain about how to handle Pakistan. The unpredictability of Pakistani politics makes an uncontrollable nuclear disaster a tangible and disquieting risk, especially given the connections between powerful state actors and fundamentalist Islamic forces.

The war on terror

Much has been written about Pakistan’s support of the Taliban and Al Qaeda as well as the intimate association between the Taliban and the Pakistani government, military and intelligence services prior to September 11, 2001. When the United States decided to invade Afghanistan and end Taliban rule, Pakistan made a commitment to join the war on terror, become a member of “the coalition of the willing” fighting Al Qaeda and discontinue its support for the Taliban. There were to be no safe havens in Pakistan, no arms for the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces and no training camps and staging areas for attacks in Afghanistan. In return, the United States and the West promised the Musharraf government that aid and military assistance would flow in prodigious amounts and that international questioning of the legitimacy of military rule would cease.

The Pakistani effort in the war against terror has turned out to be duplicitous, treacherous and malevolent. Al Qaeda and Taliban bases have been operating with considerable impunity in areas bordering Afghanistan. Taliban leaders’ homes are easily identifiable in Quetta – a city only 50 kilometres from Kandahar – but nothing has been done to disrupt their comfortable lives.

The only successful operation in Quetta against the Taliban leadership was carried out in 2006 by U.S. operatives, though the official line continues to be that no U.S. forces were present. The Taliban leadership enjoys safe haven privileges in Quetta, provided that Quetta is used only for recruiting and training and not as an actual base of operations. Young recruits in the thousands are being trained at madrassahs and camps in the area, according to reports of local residents.

Perhaps more importantly, operational Taliban bases are located in the directly governed frontier areas bordering on Afghanistan in the south. This is well known among international observers. The BBC, in a January 2007 report, confirmed that “western Pakistan has long served as a Taliban sanctuary and with last year’s ‘peace accord,’ signed between Pakistani forces and powerful Taliban-aligned tribesmen, virtually gave birth to a Taliban ministate.” Newsday reported,

Four years after the United States led the overthrow of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, a new Taliban movement has taken control in a swath of neighboring Pakistan. Taliban militants control much of Waziristan, a rocky, mountainous area twice the size of Long Island along the Pakistani border. Despite a heavy presence of Pakistani troops, Waziristan has become the largest and most protected sanctuary for Islamic militant guerrillas in the “global war on terror.”2

In 2006, Musharraf entered into a peace accord with tribal leaders, withdrawing Pakistani forces and turning much of Waziristan into a territory governed and controlled by the Taliban. U.S. military and intelligence experts have concluded that this strategically important area was in fact turned over to Afghan insurgents:

U.S. military officers and Afghan officials in three neighboring provinces of Afghanistan say the infiltration of guerrillas from Waziristan has continued unabated and is the primary engine of the continued Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan. Waziristan “is very important to the Taliban” as a base of operations in the Afghan-Pakistani theatre, said Mike Scheuer, a former top analyst at the CIA.3

A U.S. National Intelligence Estimate of July 17, 2007, stated that “we assess attack capability, including a safe haven in .”

Some commentators have suggested that Musharraf’s goal in all this is to placate the large Pashtun population in northern and western Pakistan, which might otherwise seek the breakup of Pakistan, but this is hardly credible. He and the Pakistan government fear nationalists above almost anything. The Taliban are not Pashtun nationalists. Their objective is to crush the Western infidels and to drive the West out of the Islamic world, not to form a Pashtun state. This is supported by the informed and respected Pakistani newspaper Dawn, which reported,

It would be unfair to liken the Taliban’s resistance to a Pashtun uprising. This view betrays a lack of understanding of contemporary Pashtun society. Ethnic Pashtuns they are, but the Taliban have never espoused any nationalist ideology. Theirs is not a nationalist struggle; their resistance is fired by a desire to wage “jihad and defeat the infidels.”4

Musharraf has no affinity with territorially based nationalists, and especially Pashtuns and Baluch. Al Qaeda rejects nationalist goals, thus helping it to get what it needs most from him – a territorial base out of reach of hostile forces.

Why has the West tolerated Musharraf?

The question of why the West, and especially the United States, tolerate Musharraf and support his rule in the face of his duplicity is much debated inside and outside Pakistan. In fact, the Taliban and Al Qaeda present a relatively limited threat to Musharraf as long as he does not seriously threaten their bases along the border areas. He has managed to protect himself by providing them sanctuary. There would be more of a danger to him from a stable and resurgent Afghanistan, or from a full-scale assault on the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces operating out of Pakistan. In both cases, they might then really turn on him, and threaten his hold on power.

The war on terror is not his war. The existing threat to him and his rule from Islamic extremists is minimal. He is a military dictator, not a vulnerable elected leader. His complicated formula for retaining power involves collaboration with the extremists. This involves seeking their help in convincing the West that they are to be feared and only he can manage them.

Surprisingly, the United States and the West seemed for a long time genuinely to believe that there was no actual collaboration and that Musharraf was sincere in fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The hallmarks of Musharraf’s rule – rejection of free and fair elections, endemic corruption, suppression of human rights, jailing and killing of dissidents, destruction of democratic institutions – had little impact on Westerners’ thinking as long as it was believed that he opposed Al Qaeda. Recently, however, doubts have emerged. The U.S. intelligence community now has deep reservations about Musharraf’s bona fides, and leading U.S. politicians and officials are more and more revealing their doubts.

Musharraf’s attempt to dismiss the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court turned out to be deeply unpopular and unmasked his claims to be invincible. His handling of the occupation of the Red Mosque, instead of helping him, reinforced a deep suspicion that somehow the management of the occupation was staged to reignite Western fears of Islamic fundamentalists. It also strengthened the fear that his adventurism is leading the country into chaos. His emergency powers declaration in early November 2007, accompanied again by the dismissal of the Chief Justice (along with a number of the Supreme Court’s members), has reinforced a belief that the military regime is deeply flawed, and likely unsustainable.

The Bhutto resurgence
In the middle of 2007, Benazir Bhutto proposed what is sometimes called the Chilean solution, where a military dictator and popularly elected leaders share power.

Meanwhile, over the past year or more, there has been growing popular support for the democratic parties, and especially for the PPP led by Benazir Bhutto. Bhutto’s promise to return to Pakistan for elections despite the threat of arrest and her strong stand against Islamic fundamentalism and the Taliban resonated well with the people, and inspired confidence in the West.

When Benazir Bhutto returned home in October 2007, the attempt on her life the first day back was not wholly unexpected. Violence as a political instrument has been legitimized for many groups, and in the murky miasma of Pakistani politics the attack could have been the work of any number of them. We will probably never know who is responsible, and what we are told will be believed by very few. Blaming Al Qaeda and the Taliban will serve the interests of most of the main players. Bhutto claims to have evidence that some members of the intelligence services were behind it. She is incredibly well informed through a variety of sources and so this cannot be rejected out of hand. It is also possible that the MQM, the party with a power base in Karachi whose practices are recognized as thuggery even in the extraordinarily violent world of Pakistani politics, was behind it. The MQM’s hatred of Bhutto and determination to thwart the PPP are well known, and it has control over Karachi’s streets, so it had both the motive and the means.

In early November, Musharraf declared martial law and dismissed the Supreme Court. While he attributed this step in part to the rising threat of militancy – a theme that always resonates with the West – his main motivation was to circumvent a pending Supreme Court decision invalidating his selection as president because he is still head of the army, on government payroll. Perhaps more importantly, it was a message to Bhutto and the Western governments supporting her return that he and the army still intend to call the shots, and that no erosion of their ultimate power will be tolerated.

In the middle of 2007, Benazir Bhutto proposed what is sometimes called the Chilean solution, where a military dictator and popularly elected leaders share power. Under the proposal, Musharraf would be elected president by the legislators that he put into office in the fixed elections of 2002. Popular parliamentary elections would proceed after that, with an understanding that they would not be fixed, at least not to such a degree as to prevent the most popular party from gaining a majority. Corruption charges against Bhutto and her immediate circle would be dropped, and corruption charges would be dealt with in the future as a matter of justice rather than as a sword to destroy political enemies.

One of the reasons she made this proposal is that she saw that Musharraf’s rule was unstable and that he was vulnerable to popular rejection. In this way, she was capitalizing on his weakness. She also knew that he had the continued backing of the army and the intelligence services, both of which fear Bhutto’s return to power – the army because she may chase them back to the barracks on a wave of popular support, and the intelligence services because she may actually insist that the collaboration with Islamic fundamentalism, the Taliban and Al Qaeda be brought to an end. She believed that a compromise involving the sharing of power was the only attainable solution.

The exact details of any new configuration were not completely settled when Musharraf declared martial law on November 3. In any such configuration, at a bare minimum, Musharraf would continue as president but would lose the power to dismiss the prime minister. His minimum demands included powers over the military, the intelligence services and foreign affairs. Most likely he would have retained the military and foreign intelligence, but foreign affairs and domestic intelligence were more problematic. National security was in dispute, with lots of blurring of the lines on the exact division. Bhutto was demanding most domestic social affairs, but Musharraf wanted some continued powers over the economy, in part to protect military privilege. Many other constitutional questions, like empowering the provinces, the independence of the judiciary and full restoration of the rule of law and respect for human and political rights would be left for later determination.

Some see her proposal as opportunism, legitimizing the endemic corruption in her previous term as prime minister, and creating a new opportunity for her discredited supporters to capture a share of the spoils. However, in the face of recent harsh realities, it is incumbent on such critics to suggest a better alternative. The state murders, disappearances, repression, suppression of dissidents, destruction of the rule of law and the judiciary and cynical support of the Taliban and Al Qaeda have destroyed the current regime’s legitimacy. Any effort it now makes to confront the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces in a meaningful way lacks credibility in Pakistan, and is suspect in the international community.

When Benazir Bhutto returned home in October 2007, the attempt on her life the first day back was not wholly unexpected. Violence as a political instrument has been legitimized for many groups, and in the murky miasma of Pakistani politics the attack could have been the work of any number of them.

Because there is so little trust, Bhutto called on the United States and the West to guarantee the arrangement, and this was essentially provided. Bhutto’s greatest fear was that after being chosen president by the tainted parliament and provincial legislatures, as was agreed to, Musharraf would refuse to permit free and fair elections in early 2008. The fact that he proceeded with martial law after being chosen president sent a clear message to the United States and the West that he did not consider himself bound by any guarantees they had provided to Bhutto.

What happens next?

Pakistani politics are notoriously treacherous. It is risky to make any predictions about how things are going to unfold. At the time of writing, Musharraf’s emergency powers declaration was just a few days old. Mainstream political leaders were being arrested in large numbers. The Supreme Court had been totally eviscerated as a check on the government, and the streets of the capital city, Islamabad, were occupied by troops.

Musharraf is in a desperate fight to survive. He is trying to appease the West by establishing some bona fides in fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban. But his control over events is weakening, and his double dealing is coming unglued. There is a possibility of a dark spiral into disaster as a result of a breakdown in his murky deals and compromises with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, major losses by Pakistani forces in clashes with them, divisions in the army and a new army coup, with Musharraf replaced by a new iron-fisted ruler with ties to Islamic fundamentalism and the Taliban.

Alternatively, Bhutto could be assassinated, and chaos on the streets could follow. Musharraf would be finished for all intents and purposes, since Pakistan would be totally discredited. The limits of U.S. power and influence would certainly be tested. It could possibly go looking for another military strongman, given its difficulty in believing that democratically chosen leaders can maintain security and fight extremists. But it would insist on someone who is free of Al Qaeda–Taliban links and could be trusted with a finger on the nuclear button. If that were not successful, and a new strongman with deep Al Qaeda sympathies came to power, India’s response would be unpredictable and perhaps belligerent. Pakistan might move on Kashmir in response. Nuclear arms could come out of their protective silos and a conflagration could begin, accidentally or deliberately.

A more hopeful possibility is that there will be free and fair parliamentary elections some time in 2008, supported by the United States and the West. The PPP would almost certainly win an honest election, and Bhutto would become prime minister. A weakened Musharraf might or might not be able to stay around as president. Bhutto and the military would have to work out an uneasy alliance based on a power-sharing arrangement like the one she has proposed and a much more vigorous policy against the fundamentalist insurgents. Bhutto and the United States would both demand that the havens for the Taliban and Al Qaeda be closed and reoccupied by Pakistan. The military leadership would be forced to go along, even though the army and the intelligence services would continue to collaborate with Islamic fundamentalists. This could ultimately lead to an internal crisis in the government, with the army and the intelligence services having to be tamed to avoid another coup.

The West, and the United States in particular, will have to decide whether to side with Bhutto or the military on some of the hard questions. While the choice may appear to be between dictators and democrats, it will really be about how to stabilize Pakistan and fight the war on terror. Pakistan is at the centre of this war. As goes Pakistan, so goes the world. In a country where treachery, duplicity and self-interest have free rein, it is not easy to predict where things are going. But it appears that power-sharing, something akin to what happened in Chile after the end of the military dictatorship, is the only way out. In many respects, whether this works or not will depend on the West and the support and discipline it imposes.

Canada has a claim to a say in all of this beyond that of a normal middle-power satellite of the United States. The reason is simple: Canada’s contribution and sacrifices in Afghanistan have been immense. Many of our soldiers have been killed by Pakistani-supported insurgents who have come across the border from the safe havens that Musharraf has tolerated for far too long. Canada, along with other Western countries, supported Musharraf despite his record out of a belief that he would help in the fight against terrorism. Instead, he has supported the terrorists and at the same time governed as an autocrat. There has been no evidence that Canada has played any significant role in the reevaluation that started in 2007, even though other Western countries have asked searching questions.

Musharraf’s declining credibility and weakening position have created an opening. Given Canadian sacrifices in Afghanistan, our government has a responsibility to take the lead in demanding major changes in Pakistan. Fundamental restructuring of the government is essential. Most Canadians would hope that our democratic traditions and values and our determination to fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda will anchor Canada’s position. This means taking an active role in supporting change in Pakistan: it includes supporting an arrangement like the one proposed by Bhutto, and making Canada a party to the Western guarantee needed to secure it.


1 Dawn, Karachi, December 6, 2006.

2 Newsday, New York, February 1, 2006.

3 Ibid.

4 Dawn, Karachi, October 1, 2006.