News Release

Pakistan: Critical Perspectives

Schell’s most recent book is The Seventh Decade: The New Shape of Nuclear Danger. He just wrote the piece “Are You With Us… or Against Us? The Road from Washington to Karachi to Nuclear Anarchy.”
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Bazzi recently wrote the piece “U.S. Must Cut Ties to Pakistan’s Dictator,” in which he states: “If anyone in the Muslim world still believed in the Bush administration’s historic promise to support democracy over political expediency, those hopes are being shattered with the crisis unfolding in Pakistan.” The former Middle East bureau chief for Newsday, Bazzi is a visiting fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
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President of the U.S.-based National Muslim Law Students Association, Ahmad was last in Pakistan this August. He said today: “Musharraf’s grip on power is at its weakest point since he staged his coup eight years ago. What was going to be his civilian savior, Benazir Bhutto and her Pakistan People’s Party, has announced its complete break with any dealings with Musharraf, and has called for Musharraf to resign both as Army Chief and President of the country, and an immediate end to martial law. On top of this, Musharraf’s backers in Washington are becoming increasingly nervous about the political crisis in the country, and frustrated with Musharraf’s mishandling of it. John Negroponte, arriving in Islamabad on Friday, is bringing an ultimatum to the General-President: control the political situation or risk being ‘removed.'” Ahmad is a member of the Pakistan-based Peoples Rights Movement, a progressive political confederation of social movements.
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Bhutto is a Pakistani poet and writer. She just wrote the piece “Aunt Benazir’s False Promises: Bhutto’s Return Bodes Poorly for Pakistan — and for Democracy There,” which was published in the Los Angeles Times.

The piece states: “We Pakistanis live in uncertain times. Emergency rule has been imposed for the 13th time in our short 60-year history. Thousands of lawyers have been arrested, some charged with sedition and treason; the chief justice has been deposed; and a draconian media law — shutting down all private news channels — has been drafted.

“Perhaps the most bizarre part of this circus has been the hijacking of the democratic cause by my aunt, the twice-disgraced former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto. While she was hashing out a deal to share power with Gen. Pervez Musharraf last month, she repeatedly insisted that without her, democracy in Pakistan would be a lost cause. Now that the situation has changed, she’s saying that she wants Musharraf to step down and that she’d like to make a deal with his opponents — but still, she says, she’s the savior of democracy. The reality, however, is that there is no one better placed to benefit from emergency rule than she is.” Fatima Bhutto is the daughter of Mir Murtaza Bhutto, who was killed in 1996 in Karachi when his sister, Benazir, was prime minister.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.