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The wrong voice

September 04, 2007

Re "A moment of truth in Pakistan," Opinion, Aug. 30

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto outlined the rise of religious extremism in Pakistan and a list of qualifications to drum up support in the West for herself.

People like Bhutto led Pakistan to its current state. She, like many politicians, is one reason why the Muslim world, and specifically Pakistan, are in the Stone Age, and why the masses turn to extremist ideology.

Bhutto uses the front of democracy and the rule of law to push her own personal agenda and narrow-minded politics of self-interest. Bhutto used the talk of democracy to keep Pakistanis subjugated in dire conditions of illiteracy and poverty while her own bank account filled with that country's wealth. To see Bhutto try to claim her high holiness in The Times was not just disingenuous but deplorable.

Under her rule, Pakistan experienced corruption and kleptocracy as well as civil unrest, something that undermines the very foundation of democracy and civil society.

Bhutto was deposed twice -- in 1988 and 1993 -- as prime minister. There is no reason the U.S. should see her as a partner for a third time given her track record of failure.

Affad Shaikh

Palmdale

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