Continued from page 1

Fixing Pakistan will require much more U.S. and World Bank involvement, said Mr. Debat and other experts.

Marvin Weinbaum, a scholar with the Middle East Institute, and an expert on Pakistan said, “There is no coherent program among Pakistani political groups.” Most politicians’ strategy is to regain power and keep it.

“Without a sense of vision,” said Mr. Weinbaum, “Pakistan is headed back to the 1990s.” Meaning the years of political turmoil. To break a mindset, you need an alternative. Mr. Musharraf does not have the alternative. Most likely neither will Mrs. Bhutto.

The Islamists look around them. They look to Afghanistan where NATO forces will most likely not hold much longer, eventually retreating and leaving the Afghanis to sort out their own mess. They turn to Iraq again, where the United States will eventually pull out its military, leaving the Iraqis to their own destiny. And they count on the same short attention span that the West, and particularly the United States, has when it comes to foreign policy.

Most American politicians think in four year increments — from one presidential election to the next. And with the change of administration usually comes a change of policy. Any government or political entity wishing to do business with the current administration, knows it simply must wait at most four years before all the rules change.

Claude Salhani is editor of the Middle East Times.