The politics of Pakistan are feudal and fractious at best, but further complicated by the position of the United States on how things should be run there.
|What next for Pakistan? [EPA]|
Critics accuse the US of supporting stability at the expense of democracy – and Pakistan is cited as an example of that policy. Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani president, is a major ally in Washington's 'war on terror' – a war that is massively unpopular in that part of the world.
Meanwhile, democracy does not seem to be making much progress in Pakistan.
Elections that were supposed to be held on January 8 were postponed until next month, in the wake of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister and opposition leader.
Even when the elections are finally held, the government's credibility has been dealt some severe blows – including the sacking of the country's chief justice, the imposition of martial law, which was later lifted, and reports of rigged elections in the past.
On Tuesday Riz speaks with Ambassador Karl Inderfurth, who served as assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs during the Clinton administration. He is currently a professor of International Affairs at George Washington University.
Also in Washington is Akbar Ahmed, a professor of Islamic Studies at American University and the former Pakistani ambassador to Britain. He recently returned from a trip to Pakistan, where he once served as governor of the Waziristan region. And from Lahore, Pakistan, is one of the country's most vocal activists for civil society, Asma Jahangir.
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This episode of Riz Khan aired from Tuesday, January 8, 2008
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