Who Lost Pakistan?

Why a key U.S. ally in the war on terrorism is letting al-Qaeda get stronger

Arif Ali / AFP / Getty

Pakistani activists of the hardline six Islamic party alliance, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), torch an effigy of President Pervez Musharraf with a U.S. flag during an anti-Musharraf protest rally in Lahore on July 13, 2007.

Since Sept. 11, the Bush Administration has hailed Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf as a stalwart ally in the war on terrorism, providing as much as $10 billion in aid to his government. The U.S. believes Musharraf's autocratic rule is preferable to what might replace it: a nuclear-armed, fundamentalist regime sympathetic to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. But there are growing doubts about how long Musharraf can hold on to power. Al-Qaeda's leadership has regrouped in Pakistan's tribal areas, while the country's middle class has taken to the streets to protest Musharraf's decision to suspend Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. (A suicide...

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