The World's Most Dangerous Country

You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.

The news of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto is a stark reminder that Pakistan is arguably the world's most dangerous country. Some will argue that Iran represents the biggest threat to the West, because they spread terrorism around the world and are seeking nuclear weapons. But think of Pakistan. It is a country with nuclear weapons and a large minority who support international terrorism. Pick your poison, but I fear Pakistan the most.

My fear may come from actually having spent time in Pakistan. About ten years ago I did a month long consulting project in Karachi. It was and still is the poorest and least developed country of the forty-seven I have visited. On every street corner there seemed to be a young man carrying an AK-47. One was forced to constantly consider what the guy was thinking when he saw a middle aged white man in a business suit. What poison had been put in his mind about who I may be and what I may be doing? It was a frightening notion.

As part of the consulting project (establishing the distribution channel for KFC in Pakistan), we went to every major country in Asia to determine best practices. Our travels made for a case study in international development. Singapore had the most developed supply chain. Pakistan had the least. Malaysia, Indonesia and India were in between. Singaporeans got their chicken at the local KFC or supermarket. Pakistanis bought eggs in the market, hatched them in the back yard, watched them grow, and slaughtered them at home. It was like stepping back in time.

Since we set up KFC in Karachi, the original store has been attacked and burned several times. My guess is that most Pakistanis still get their chicken the way they always have. Economic progress is slowed by a dysfunctional political system. Fundamentalist Islam still rages in large swaths of the country.

It is a sad state of affairs, and one that will not be resolved anytime soon. Meanwhile, it is impossible to ignore the danger that Pakistan represents. Although we need to support democracy everywhere we can, Pakistan may be the exception. It is just too dangerous to let Jihadists have the bomb.

1 comments:

Jake

6:20 PM

I asked you politely several times not to comment on my blog. You are obviously a very troubled person and deserve our sympathy. However, if you cannot control yourself, I will need to take other action.