Pakistan: Nuclear Fallout

The clash with radical Islam is at its most serious in Pakistan where nuclear weapons could change hands. The President, Pervez Musharraf, has set out to deal with the radical Islamists. A great deal depends on his success.

The World Today Published 1 November 2001 Updated 26 October 2020 4 minute READ

Dr Chris Smith

In the immediate aftermath of the attacks in America, the US was swift to engage General Pervez Musharraf. The ensuing dialogue must have been uncomfortable for the leader of Pakistan. On the one hand, there was ample evidence to link his country to the creation and indulgence of the Taliban movement, as a means of retaining an element of control over events in war torn, anarchic Afghanistan.

On the other, Pakistan has long teetered on the brink of state collapse because of economic mismanagement and corruption on an unimaginable scale and, more recently, economic and military sanctions following the nuclear tests in 1999.

Although Pakistan’s survival instincts are immense, reliance upon the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for lifeline credits remains the most important aspect of the government’s economic strategy.

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