Pakistan: Desperately in Need of New Leadership

Pressure from America has resulted in the the most powerful man in Pakistan stepping aside. When the Saudi Arabian King decided it was time for Nawaz Sharief to return to Pakistan, his wish was promptly granted. When the America decided it was time for Benazir Bhutto to return, she did. On the Afghan border, the Taliban terrorists more or less call the shots as they make inroads by the day. To make matters worse, the emergency now ensures that the army is thoroughly disliked by the local population as well. The Pakistani army must be thoroughly demoralized.

Can the situation in Pakistan get any worse?

With President Musharaff no longer army chief and having announced elections, he, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharief are jockeying to either gain or share power. It is a pity that there hasn’t been an opportunity for the next generation of politicians to emerge from the grassroots. With both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharief being lifetime appointees of their respective parties, there is little hope of the next line of leadership emerging from their parties.

One can’t but help wonder what happened to the legendary Imran Khan. The man who transformed Pakistan cricket has been trying his hand at politics for a long time now. His commitment and resolve are more than apparent in his long struggle. One can only hope that someone like him with grassroots level support might rise to the top and provide the leadership to clean up the mess left by years of corruption and military rule. At the present moment this looks far-fetched to say the least.

For too long, Pakistan has been caught up between corrupt politicians and power hungry dictators on the inside and world powers on the outside. It is about time that the average Pakistani rallied behind new leadership (hopefully someone with grass roots level support and someone who is committed to peace with India) and threw out the dictators and corrupt politicians, and put Pakistan on a road to recovery and permanent freedom and democracy.

Newseek magazine pointed out that Pakistan was the most dangerous part of the world. It is probably fair to disregard the sensationalism behind the headlines, but it is about time, America (and other world powers) took serious steps to return Pakistan to democracy and quit supporting dictatorship under the guise of a war on terror. The war on terror can continue, but without democracy, Pakistan is fertile breeding ground for terrorists.

Author: Pran Kurup

Pran Kurup is founder and CEO of Vitalect, Inc.

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