Monday, November 12, 2007

Is support of democracy worth losing Pakistan as an ally?

Benazir Bhutto is the leader of the Pakistan People’s Party and became the first woman leader of an Islamic country in 1988. Despite the fact that she left Pakistan after being dismissed from office early in 1996, Bhutto has recently been discussing setting up a “power-sharing arrangement” with Pakistan’s current president under martial law, General Pervez Musharraf.

Unfortunately, today Pakistani police, in an attempt to prevent a protest rally lead by Bhutto, issued a seven-day detention order. Government spokesman Tariq Azim Khan has expressed that there is sufficient evidence that Bhutto is indeed a target should she go through with the protest. Similarly to how the police prevented a previous protest planned by Benazir Bhutto, the government will confine her to her home, most likely using barricades.

Bhutto stands for democracy in a country that is now deprived of democracy. She is fighting for a cause that will benefit the people and allow them to have a voice where right now they certainly do not. The United States is put in a difficult position because Pakistan is an important ally of ours and General Musharraf has been somewhat helpful in the war against terrorism and the fight against Al Queda. Pakistan is likewise in a very strategic location surrounded by Afghanistan, Iran and India. It will be hard for the United States to continue to support a non-democratic Pakistan, but if we don’t, we could lose an ally in a very important area.

Should the US support Benazir Bhutto and her fight for Democracy and risk losing Pakistan as an ally?


RobbyCano23 said...

This is an issue that has plagued U.S. foreign affairs time and time again over its history. The real question is do we support a nation, despite objecting to their rule, or go against them despite the fact that their alliance would be a great asset for the U.S.? It is a difficult situation for the U.S. to be in because the last time the U.S. decided to do whatever it takes to spread democracy it lead to the Vietnam War. The most unpopular war in U.S. history. The U.S. is a global power, but I do not think it has the right to decide that Democracy is the best course of action for another country. The U.S. can continue to support Pakistan even though though it is not a Democratic nation until Pakistan does something that would make the U.S. think otherwise.

yanks23 said...

During the Cold War, the United States was allies with countries that said "yes" to capitalism, but also nations that said "no" to communism. Even though Pakistan may restrict some democracy, it has still provided a lot of help to the United States. Similarly, as America continues to fight the war on terror it is important that we remain allies with as many countries as possible. Even if Pakistan restricts Democracy from one person they are still a very important ally to our country. It would be wrong for America to break relations with such an important ally over the question of democracy. If we decide to break ties with Pakistan, we'll not only have to fight the war on terror minus one ally, but we'll be creating a completely new war.

Tigist said...

I personally don’t think that the United States should decide whether another country should be democratic or not. The United States should let the country handle its own problems because if the US gets involved it will not benefit from it at all.