Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Assassination of Salman Taseer

Militants Set The Agenda

Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab Province in Pakistan, was murdered earlier today by one of his police guards. The New York Times reported that today's killing has exposed that Pakistan is experiencing a political crisis.

In a past article, The Times reported that, ''officially,'' the U.S. did not want to be seen ''taking sides in Pakistan’s already chaotic internal politics.'' Yet, in the time leading up to Governor Taseer's assassination, The Times reported that the U.S. was having a greater public role in the affairs of Pakistan.

''Obama administration officials worry that even if Pakistan’s government survives the upheaval — which they believe it might, for a while — the turmoil could kill any chance for political and economic reforms. The assassination, one official said, leaves not only the repeal of the blasphemy laws in doubt, but also possible reforms to increase tax collection. Under pressure from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other American officials, the Pakistani government submitted a new tax law in Parliament. But it may abandon the push as a way to lure back coalition partners.''

At the end of the day, it's hard to tell if the U.S. is ''officially'' involved or uninvolved in the direction of Pakistan's government. And for the second time, since the spectacular security failure that lead to Benazir Bhutto's assassination, an investigation needs to be made to review those ''officially'' or ''unofficially'' responsible for providing security to key government leaders in Pakistan.

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