Public Nuisance

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The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
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Sunday, June 30, 2002
 
Pakistan may be an ally of convenience against al Qaeda, but before that it was the principal supporter of the Taliban. That ideology is reflected in its domestic policies. Unsurprisingly, women are little better than slaves there:

Under Pakistan's draconian hudood laws -- which criminalize extramarital relations between men and women while dictating that a women's testimony carries no legal weight -- human rights groups estimate that half of the women who report rapes are charged with adultery and sentenced to prison terms...

In particular, human rights experts here and abroad charge, Musharraf's crucial support in the U.S. war on terrorism has caused Washington to turn a blind eye to the fact that life for women is little better here than in Afghanistan.

"Priorities have changed, and as long as America considers Pakistan a reliable ally in the fight against Taliban and al Qaeda remnants, violations of human rights can be virtually ignored," said Professor Khalid Mehmood of Islamabad's Institute for Regional Studies.

In fact, there are places in Pakistan where women are sold as slaves. And the treatment of religious minorities isn't much better.



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