Sunday, December 30, 2007

why Pakistan matters

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Why Pakistan Matters
Category: News and Politics

Why Pakistan Matters so Much

You may have heard recently that the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated on December 27th after eight years of self-imposed exile from the country. Bhutto's assassination has garnered a lot of media coverage and stimulated a great deal of international discussion. You may be wondering why.

What you need to know about Pakistan:

1. Pakistan borders Afghanistan.

2. Pakistan is home to known Islamic extremists, including members of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. It is even believed that Osama bin Laden is living somewhere among these self-ruling tribal areas.

3. Pakistan is estimated to have anywhere from 24 to 48 nuclear warheads but claims to have 80 to 120.

4. There is a great deal of social and political unrest in Pakistan. Despite international condemnation, President Musharraf imposed emergency law from Nov. 3 to Dec. 15, 2007, and postponed national elections. 2007 in Pakistan has been a year of riots, protests, and violence.

5. The U.S. was relying on Bhutto's return to Pakistan (as she was in self-imposed exile for eight years) and the projected success of her party (and her) in the upcoming election to help stabilize Pakistan.

6. Although he chose to be an "ally" to the U.S. after 9/11, he has been greatly criticized for not removing the terrorist groups operating in Pakistan.

7. Pakistan is one of four countries in the world that did not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

8. Pakistan and India have a relationship similar to the Soviet-US Cold War era relationship, except their hatred is more deep-seated, long-standing, and contentious. In fact, since their independence from Great Britian in 1947, they have fought three separate wars against each other.

9. India is believed to have 30 to 35 nuclear warheads (and is one of the other countries that refused to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty).

Our concerns, as a nation, are two-fold. First, we want to prevent the nuclear warheads in Pakistan from falling into the hands of terrorists, such as al-Qaeda. Second, we want to avoid the use of nuclear weapons between India and Pakistan, which could quickly escalate into a global nuclear disaster.


This page has links for the more information on every point above.

Right now, we don't have the resource to protect the weapons or the current government if there is an uprising. This is a very scary development.

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