IN OTHER WORDS : Pak unrest

There are dangerous international terrorists hiding out in the mountain caves of Pakistan. But 79-year-old Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, the Baluch tribal leader, politician and rebel, was not one of them. Now Bugti is dead and the impoverished but energy-rich province of Baluchistan is in an uproar after an ill-explained military operation last month. The last thing Pakistan needs is an upsurge in violence and repression in Baluchistan. That would only be a distraction from far more important challenges, like developing a chronically underachieving economy; res-toring a ravished democracy; and placing a dangerous nuclear weapons establishment, including exports of bomb-related technology.

And there are far more crucial things that Pakistan’s military could. For example, it could seal its porous border with Afghanistan, making it harder for the Taliban to infiltrate. It could shut down Kashmiri terrorist groups and make a serious bid to find bin Laden.

So long as elections are rigged, opposition parties banned and Washington’s support remains guaranteed, Gen. Parvez Musharraf has little incentive to take up any of these vital

challenges. When he comes to the US, he loves to be lauded as a leader in the

war on terrorism. Back home, his government too often acts like a military dictatorship. — The New York Times