New Delhi: Leading economists from the US and other countries who had gathered at an international conference on Thursday aired doubts about the future of democracy in Pakistan and underlined that terrorism there could be a threat to world peace.
"Terrorism, feuds, tacit military support to mujahideens, al Qaeda insurgent groups are all tormenting its (Pakistan`s) economy and polity. The bigger problem is, it also has nuclear capabilities. You never know how long this democracy in Pakistan will be sustained," said Michael D Intriligator, professor emeritus of economics at the University of California.
"There may again come up another (Pervez) Musharraf or AQ Khan. Once again the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) may become very powerful in the country. Today, Pakistan is faced with everything that can disturb peace in the whole world."
He was speaking at a two-day international conference on "Conflict Management, Peace Economics and Peace Science", organised jointly by the Indira Gandhi National Open University, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti and UNESCO here.
Intriligator`s concern was strongly echoed by professor Riaz Ahmed Sheikh from Pakistan.
Speaking on ‘Afghan War - Global Jihad and Sectarian Conflict in Pakistan - Internal and External Link’, Sheikh said: "Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was killed by terrorists within Pakistan. All the subversive groups are still being secretly supported and helped by the former military generals. The Taliban is being strengthened. All these are grave concerns in Pakistan`s common life."
Speaking on ‘Global Security and Human Security’, Intriligator, who is an exponent of the bottom-up theory for economic empowerment of the masses, came down heavily on the "trickle-down" economics practiced by the US for over 30 years.
"The world must consider extending support to small businesses, small entrepreneurs, unemployed people, disadvantaged populations," he said.
Asked who indeed was responsible for the current slump in the economy in advanced countries, including the US, he said, the big financial institutions and government policies encouraged "trickle-down" principles of economy.
The conference was organised on Tuesday and Wednesday.