Pakistani policies are dictated by the United States. Everything from the formation of the budget to the types of taxes levied are controlled by Washington.

We know that Benazir Bhutto made a mess of things during her two stints in power, but we are told that she should be the next prime minister because the US government thinks she is suitable for us (and them).

Why spend so much time and money holding elections? Why not simply ask whoever the US government nominates to occupy the position of prime minister? Just think of the amount of time and the money we'll save.

General Elections mean two national holidays: one for national elections and the other for provincial polls. We'll save on both if we go with selections. And then, of course, we'll save on the endless speeches by our politicians.

During the election campaign, party workers inevitably clash. We can avoid this bloodshed.

After the elections, losing candidates cry out with charges of rigging. We could do away with all that if we simple ask the US to select our next prime minister openly.

Shakir Lakhani,