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Academics Explain How Pakistan’s Complicated Society Impacts U.S. Policy

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Tom Fudge: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has agreed to step down as chief of the army, according to a former Pakistan prime minister. The news comes from exiled Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who has been holding meetings with Musharraf about reforming Pakistan's military government. She hopes to return to her country soon to take part in free elections.

If true, this news would be significant. Musharraf has acted as a military strongman since he took power in a 1999 coup. Since then, of course, Pakistan has been an ally to the U.S. in the war on terror. But it has also been the breeding ground for many terrorist groups. The political instability of Pakistan is of great concern to the United States, India and the rest of the Muslim world. Whether the divided country, which has nuclear arms, is really headed toward greater democracy is a good question.

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