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On Pakistan

With Pervez Musharraf apparently ready to quit, the time has come for a serious and fundamental re-examination of our relations with Pakistan. This includes an examination of our counterterrorism strategy in the region, our military and national security relations in general and the work we are doing to try to keep any conflict between Pakistan and India to a low boil at most. We have invested far too much in the person of Pervez Musharraf in the past and his departure necessarily means that American policy will be thrown into at least a semi-chaotic state for some time to come.

I would hope that there are constant and intensive contacts being established between the American diplomatic mission in Islamabad and people like Prime Minister Zardari and Ashfaq Kayani. Chaos may not merely be visited on American policy in the wake of Musharraf’s departure. It may be visited on Pakistan itself and we had better ensure that we have people to call in the event that things get violent. And we cannot rule out the possibility that things might indeed get violent as the political transition process takes place in Pakistan.

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