Back to Bhutto?

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Back to Bhutto?

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If President Musharraf is ousted, it will be another example of Pakistan’s underlying stability

One of the nice things about Pakistan at the moment is that it makes me feel young again. I first went there in 1988 as a stringer for the Times to cover the aftermath of General Zia’s assassination and the military-managed “transition to democracy.” The inheritors of government were Benazir Bhutto and her Pakistan People’s party (PPP), but the military was careful to balance her electoral victory by keeping an ally of theirs, Mian Nawaz Sharif, as chief minister of the most populous province, Punjab.

Nineteen years have passed, the Soviet Union has fallen, the US has invaded and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, China has emerged as an economic superpower and my own life has been transformed—and yet in Pakistan we are once again talking about a managed transition from military rule to that of Benazir Bhutto.

That the world can have changed so much, and Pakistan so little, says

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Anatol Lieven

Anatol Lieven
Anatol Lieven is a professor in the war studies department of King’s College, London 

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