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No more turmoil in Pakistan is permissible
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16:16, January 23, 2008

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The situation and latest developments in Pakistan have drawn increasing attention from the international community in every possible way since the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007 and particularly before the arrival of its upcoming parliamentary elections on February 18.

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto, also leader of the main position party -- Pakistan People's Party (PPP), has wrought regional social upheavals and challenges of a greater extent to Pakistan. In order to maintain social stability and safeguard the people's lives and properties, however, the Pakistani government led by President Pervez Musharraf has resorted to a host of viable measures. Among these measures, paramilitary police and armed troops were empowered to quell the rioting, so as to avoid or cut the negative costs borne by the nation and society to the maximum.

Nevertheless, the terrorist, secessionist and extremist forces both inside and outside Pakistan have never ceased their sabotaging activities while the Pakistani government has been making unremitting efforts in defense of the supreme national interests. A string of riots, violence and even terrorist attacks occurred in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and other places one after another in the past three weeks or so, with an ensuing, immense loss of human lives and property damages. Among the perpetrators involved are the terrorists and extremists who desire to stir up trouble with a readiness to turn the nation into turmoil, whereas most fallen victims in tragedies are no other than innocent civilians and public employees or functionaries.

Some opposition forces at home and a few powers overseas impose pressures or punitive measures against Pakistan in the name of "democracy," "freedom" and "opposition to terrorism." So the nation is currently in very complex and stark circumstances, and its government is confronted with unprecedented challenges.

As is known to all, Pakistan is a fairly sensitive nation with a swirl of tragic events and its security situation is also relatively fragile. Its government and people, however, have stood rare, unprecedented severe tests since the "September 11" terrorist attacks of 2001 in the United States and the outbreak of the war in Afghanistan. Thanks to the effective leadership of the Musharraf government along with joint efforts of people from all walks of life, Pakistan has on the one hand worked to coordinate with the struggle of the international community against terrorism. On the other hand, the nation has scored remarkable successes in socio-economic development, and also eased off its strained relations with its neighbor India.

To be earnest and truthful, Pakistan has undergone an era of a relatively fast economic growth in which its people enjoy relatively ample benefits. What the Pakistani government has attained over recent years in safeguarding national stability and boosting economic growth is there for the whole global community to see.

Its unique, specific geopolitical factor, however, proves if its situation is out of control and the entire nation in unrest and turmoil, the scope of negative influences would outreach its adjacent areas and negatively impact the global situation while plunging its own people into an abyss of suffering. Besides, stability in Pakistan's surrounding areas is sure to be menaced, and new variables will add to the war on terror being waged in Afghanistan and, consequently, the hard-won situation in South Asia featured with peace, development and cooperation could possibly get lost.

In addition, as a great Islamic nation with a population of 160 million people, which is armed with nuclear devices, medium-range missiles and advanced manufacturing technology, its stability is bound to have a direct, or indirect impact on other Islamic nations as well as the international community. A case in point is that the assassination of Benazir Bhutto gave rise to fluctuations on global financial markets for some time.

All sorts of major policy measures taken by the Pakistani government with an aim of safeguarding the internal stability and social order will surely be understood and accepted by the people in the nation and subsequently win their support. Likewise, the international community should also have a sober-minded awareness and understanding of these related useful measures being implemented there as Pakistan will absolutely not be the sole nation to suffer provided its stability is not fully guaranteed.

By People's Daily Online



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