Archive for the 'Pakistan' Category

Ghostwriting my own thoughts

Jul 13, 2011 in Anti-War, Barack Obama, Disappointing Dems, Foreign Policy, Middle East, Pakistan, Politics

I usually get on here, to post some perspectives on my homeland Pakistan and what’s going on in that region and Afghanistan. I have been away for a while, so many readers probably don’t remember me or know who I am.

There has been too much going on for me to catch up with what I wanted to write about. Then I stumbled upon this post in Salon.com

Not only does this writer hit on every topic I was going to write about, but h/she tackles every point I was going to make.

Just some bullet points:

1) I thought I was the only one thinking, why the fuck are we invading Libya? Didn’t we just elect Obama to get us the fuck out of Iraq and Afghanistan? Aren’t we trillions of dollars in debt because of those wars, why repeat Iraq pt Deux?

2) The whole African crisis, which is in part due to our meddling and misguided interventions or lack thereof (see Rwanda and Somalia)

3) Finally someone who understands a topic close to my heart. The Afghan crisis….the Durand line, and the fact that like the Africans, people are fighting on tribal lines to protect the lands of their tribes from foreign invaders. They have done that since Alexander the Great, through to the Victorian British Empire, to the Soviet war machine. O-fucking-Bama, do you think you are greater than Alexander, or the Imperial warriors of the past? Get the fuck out.

Please read the Salon article, it hits the nail on the head, gingerly and then caresses it.
–AA

Is Pakistan the new Afghanistan?

Apr 24, 2009 in Pakistan

Sorry folks, Ali here, I know I’ve been pretty quiet as of late. There have been quite a few newsworthy things going on in Pakistan, that I haven’t reported on lately.

But it looks like the situation there is deteriorating. With the government continuing to give concessions to the Taleban, and other militants, already 1/4 of the country is in a similar situation as Afghanistan, and now these guys are closing in on Islamabad, which up until now was thought to be an impregnable bastion of safety, educated elite, somewhat democratic, liberal.

Anyway, I was preparing to write up my current thoughts on the situation when I got this email from Pakistan. It basically sums up the situation from the perspective of a local, someone who grew up there, lives there, but studied here in the US, who is horrified by the recent events.  It’s beautifully written, however, I would like to respond to her last two paragraphs, maybe in a future post.  She seems genuinely shocked.  She seems to have a very innocent, idealistic City on a Hill, type of view of Pakistan.  I’d like to explain to her how it wasn’t created in the purest of circumstances.  All one has to do is ask, how many Hindus/Buddhists were killed during partition.  Also that it’s been a slow and steady decline, from one coup to the next.  One megalomaniacal dictator to the next.  One holocaust to the next (Baluchistan-Bangladesh).  Then fast forward to General Zia-ul-Haq, who basically dumped the fuel out of the plane, set it to a nosedive, and then ejected himself.  He started the slow and steady talibanisation of the country.

So my latest question is, Is Pakistan the new Afghanistan, or does it have Stockholm syndrome? Sympathizing with their hijackers/abusers/kidnappers, and what does India think of it’s neighbor going to hell in a hand-basket? I’m sure they wouldn’t want an Afghanistan right next door.

I asked for her permission to reprint her letter here:

I want my country back
Friday, April 17, 2009
Sehar Tariq

Eight years ago I boarded a plane to the United States to come to college. I was 17. As I left, my father hugged me and told me to never come back because he believed that soon Pakistan would not be a country fit for me to live in. I told him he was trying to save money by not having to buy me tickets to come home. We laughed it off. I hugged him goodbye and that day my father and I began our great debate about the fate of Pakistan. Abba told me to stay away. I defied him every time. I came home twice a year. I only flew PIA. I refused to do an internship in the US I worked every summer in Pakistan. I moved back when college ended. I started work in Pakistan. I worked two jobs because there was so much to do and not enough time to do it in. I was inspired and energised. I was hopeful and optimistic.

Today I am neither. And I have lost the debate with my father about the fate of Pakistan. The Parliament by endorsing the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation (NAR) has heralded the end of Pakistan as I knew and loved it. Today, the elected representatives of the people turned Pakistan into Talibanistan. Today we handed over a part of the country to them. I wonder how much longer before we surrender it all.

Today we legislated that a group of criminals would be in charge of governing and dispensing justice in a part of Pakistan according to their own obscurantist views. They have declared that the rulings of their courts will be supreme and no other court in the land can challenge them. They have also declared that their men that killed and maimed innocent civilians, waged war against the Pakistani army and blew up girls schools will be exempt from punishment under this law. A law that does not apply equally to all men and women is not worthy of being called a law. Hence today we legislated lawlessness.

What was most disturbing was the quiescence of the Parliament to this legislation. The utter lack of debate and questioning of this ridiculous legislation was appalling. The decision was not informed by any independent research or expert testimony, and to my knowledge none of the parliamentarians are authorities on matters of security, rule of law or regional conditions in Swat. This signals disturbing possibilities. Either our politicians are too afraid to stand up to criminals or maybe they don’t possess the foresight to gauge the national impact of this action. There is no hope for a country led by cowards or fools.

How can one be hopeful about the political future of a country where the will and the wisdom of politicians becomes hostage to the threats of barbarians? How can I be optimistic about a country where doyens of the media like Ansar Abbasi hear the collective silence of the parliamentarians as the resounding support of the people of Pakistan, but are deaf to the threats issued by the Taliban to anyone opposing the legislation? How can I feel secure in a country where the army, despite receiving the largest chunk of our resources, cannot defeat a bunch of thugs? How can I expect justice when there are different laws for different citizens, and I as a woman am a second class citizen? How can I be inspired by a country where there is no culture, no music, no art, no poetry and no innovative thought?

How can I be expected to return to a country where women are beaten and flogged publicly, where my daughters will not be allowed to go to school, where my sisters will die of common diseases because male doctors cannot see them? How can I be expected to call that country home that denies me the rights given me by my Constitution and religion? I refuse to live in a country where women like me are forced to rot behind the four walls of their homes and not allowed to use their education to benefit the nation. By endorsing the NAR and giving in to the Taliban, Parliament has sapped my hope and optimism. Parliament has dealt a deathly blow to the aspirations of the millions of young Pakistanis who struggle within and outside the country, fuelled by sheer patriotism, for a peaceful, prosperous and progressive Pakistan.

When there is no hope, no optimism, no security, no justice, no education, no progress, no culture there is no Pakistan. Maybe it is because I am the grandchild of immigrants who was raised on stories of hope, patriotism and sacrifice that even in this misery I cannot forget that Pakistan was created to protect the lives, property, culture and future of the Muslims of the Subcontinent. It was not established to be a safe haven for terrorists. We fought so that we could protect the culture of the Muslims of the Subcontinent, not so that we could import the culture of Saudi Arabia. Our ancestors laid down their lives so that the Muslims of the Subcontinent ? both men and women – could live in a land free of prejudice, not so that they could be subjected to violent discrimination of the basis of sect and gender.

Maybe it’s because I’m competitive and I don’t want to lose the debate to my father, maybe I am afraid to lose the only home I have, or maybe because I love Pakistan too much to ever say goodbye ? I hope we can remember the reasons why we made Pakistan, and I hope we can stand up to fight for them. I hope we can revive the spirit of national unity of 1947 and lock arms to battle the monster of the Taliban that threatens our existence. Talibanistan is an insult to my Pakistan. I want my country back. Pakistan Paaindabad!

The writer is pursuing a master’s at Princeton University. Earlier, she attended Yale University. Email: stariq AT princeton DOT edu

-Ali

What now?

Sep 22, 2008 in Pakistan

The election will be upon us soon.

But I thought I’d chime in again on some foreign news, and weigh in, as I usually do on the current events in Pakistan. Since the space between my blog posts is rather large, I think I’ll explain again the reason why this is relavant.

Pakistan borders, Afghanistan, Iran and India. U.S. intelligence indicates Osama Bin Laden may be in either Pakistan or Afghanistan, and has been conducting Cambodia/Laos-style bombing campaigns in Pakistan, reminiscent of the Vietnam war (Vietnam, in this case being Afghanistan).

Hopefully that put things in some perspective in one sentence.

Recently the Marriott hotel was bombed and burned to the ground in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Big deal? Isn’t this the middle-east, aren’t suicide bombings as commonplace as the drive-by-shootings in Los Angeles?

To answer those questions. Yes and No.
This is not the middle-east, this is a country with strong cultural and ethnic ties with India, so they’re not Arabs. Middle-east is an area that encompasses mostly Arab countries. Islamabad was one of the safest cities of South Asia. This is a city inhabited mostly by diplomats and by the educated elite of Pakistan. Most of the Pakistanis send their children to Internationally accredited American or UK-based schools there. English is more widely spoken there than Urdu. Women, whether they are non-Pakistani, Muslim, or not, are not covered like ninjas are not required to wear head-scarves. Women drive on the streets, women run businesses, corporations here. On occasion, some Pakistani girls even wear shorts or dresses in public here. This is not a new or recent thing. People didn’t all of a sudden just wake up and decide to “become western”. It has been a part of this democratic country for a while. My parents grew up listening to the Beatles and The Stones, going to parties in their days. The fanaticism is the anomoly. It is very recent. I will explain later.

Most of the press is describing the causes of the bombing of the Marriott hotel as an attack against Western values, etc.

I disagree….

As long as I have been alive, the Marriott has been in Islamabad. 90% of my relatives, and I believe most of the residents of Islamabad view the Marriott as a Pakistani landmark in Islamabad. Since I was a toddler, visiting my grandparents during my summer breaks, I remember countless weddings and receptions we attended there. Pakistani rock bands (yes, they have rock bands in Pakistan) played concerts in the Marriott. Local artists and craftspeople held exhibitions there. All Pakistanis mourn the bombing of the Marriott. I can’t compare it to 9/11, since the loss of life was not that great. But this has been a terrible blow to all Pakistanis, especially the residents of Islamabad. This is where all the kids hung out, even went on dates, had New Years’ parties.

Contrary to the media, the country is not full of fanatics and Taleban. These are foreign elements that have infiltrated and are attacking. People living in Pakistan know this, but they are powerless.

I guess this is my eulogy to a city I once loved because things can never go back or be the same again. Too many people have memories lost. Life will change their now, people will be afraid to go out or do anything. The terrorists have won, and will continue to win, as long as the US continues their fractured foreign policies of dissension and torment and oppression.

There was a point I was going to try and make. Something poetic, prophetic, or whathaveyou. But I just got caught up in the emotions remembering the Hotel, that I lost focus. Lost in memories. All I can think of is Leonard Cohen’s song Chelsea Hotel, for some reason….. I guess somehow his paradoxical dry-wit would actually sum up this absurd reality we are living in. Where jester is king…

-Ali

Free Elections in Pakistan

Feb 19, 2008 in Election crap, Pakistan, Politics

After 8 years of rigged and stolen elections in the USA, I thought the readers may like to hear about one happy ending.

A happy ending to the tragic death (assassination or accidental) of the charismatic Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan.

The elections, in which she was supposed to have run, took place yesterday, and her party won an overwhelming majority of the National Assembly seats.  But not without incident and trepidation in some areas.  The party that came in second (Nawaz Sharif’s), had its own casualties.  Although they didn’t lose their leader like Benazir, some of their candidates were murdered right before election.  Because of that voter turnout was very low and cautious.  It was especially low and quiet in the capital Islamabad, although slowly but surely people did end up coming out and voting.  In the larger urban areas, there was a much more of a turnout with women taking risks to come and out vote, showing solidarity with the murdered, Benazir.  The biggest shock or upset, was people coming out in the tribal areas (where the Taliban supposedly have control), near the border with Afghanistan where heavy fighting is supposedly taking place.  There were some bomb blasts with quite a few casualties up until election day.  Yet the people still voted out the Islamic fundamentalists and gave all their votes to the secular liberal parties.

Despite these odds, at least there is now some balance of power, with the democratic liberals being now in the majority and with the power to impeach the dictator.

John Kerry (himself a victim of stolen elections) was there to ensure that free and fair elections did actually take place.  Since I trust his word over at least, the current US administration, I’ll take him on his word.

There was a huge turnout by women, this time around.

What is interesting that the 2 parties that got the majority of the votes were 2 of the current dictator’s nemeses.

1) the party of Benazir Bhutto (an obvious adversary)

2) the party of Nawaz Sharif (the guy who was ousted by the current dictator in a bloodless coup and forced into exile).

Another great victory was the province that borders Afghanistan, where supposedly the Taliban and Al-Qaeda are running wild in orgiastic abandon.  All the Fundamentalist parties lost their seats there.  This is very important, because this is the region of the world where the media portrays as illiterate; and that they accept the Taliban and fundamental Islam into their doors, and that their 5 and 6 year olds willingly learn to blow off the white devils’ heads with an AK or Kalashnikov.  It’s these people who in an overwhelming majority chose a democratic moderate party to represent them in the National Assembly.

 So my dear readers, democracy won the night last night, at least on paper.

Here’s a piece by a British journalist who’s been living in Pakistan for many years:

–aa

Marked for Death

Dec 28, 2007 in Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan, Politics

I have crawled out of my rock yet again.

I apologize, dear reader(s), for my long hiatus, but the brutal assassination of an extra-ordinary woman, forces my hands to the keyboards yet again for another round of discourse.

I am, of course talking about the assassination of former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto.

She was flawed, and an ineffectual leader.
Yet she had charisma, and was apparently brilliant.  She topped both Oxford and Harvard Universities.  She was the contemporary of Ariana Huffington and would go toe-to-toe with her on debates.  Critics and contemporaries alike, agreed that she was extremely eloquent, a great debater, and an extremely likeable.

She had been elected twice as a prime minister by the masses of Pakistan.
The first woman to rule an Islamic country.  That, in itself, showed that the vast majority of educated and illiterate people, were moderate and were willing to follow a progressive leader, man or woman.

One thing of note is that the Taliban, thrived, flourished and grew and received vast amount of support, during her 2 stints as Prime Minister.  Yet, she was not an Islamic Fundamentalist and believed in women’s rights and democracy, etc.
In retrospect, maybe her hands were tied by a Fundamentalist army, or Intelligence Forces that threatened her life if she openly opposed the Taliban.

The second strike against her is that she was extremely corrupt (no more corrupt than any other Pakistani ruler), and had cases against her by the country of Switzerland and Interpol.  This caused her to go into self-imposed exile.
This time around when she came back to Pakistan, 50% of which is being terrorized daily by Taliban/Al-Qaeda and several independent fundamentalist cells; she vowed to root out and crush the fundamentalists.

The global media portrays Pakistan as a fundamentalist country with the people having sympathies with the Taliban.  That is not entirely correct. 

The fact is that the common masses and people rallied around Benazir when she came back (regardless of the fact that she was a woman, and did not have her face covered like a ninja).  They vehemently supported her when she promised to root out the fundamentalists that have been terrorizing the country.

Any support the Taliban or Al Qaeda have been receiving are through extortion.

Whatever her character though, the fact that something like this happened and could happen again, portrays the lowest point in Pakistan’s history.

A couple of theories:
Musharraf was complicit:
He was not happy that he was forced to step down as a general.  This act would be a good excuse for him to don his general’s garbs once more, and impose another state of emergency.
He is only holding elections due to international and US pressure.  It is the same pressure that forced him to allow his 2 political enemies, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif to return to the country.
Nawaz Sharif was also Benazir’s political enemy, he had her kicked out of office twice.  So he could have made a deal with Musharraf to have this done.

The other option is that the “boogeymen”, the faceless terrorists (Al-Qaeda, Taleban, etc) are behind it and couldn’t stand a woman ruling an Islamic Country.

In Benazir’s own words, in a letter written before her assassination, she mentioned that she didn’t receive police escorts or bullet-proof vehicles, and said that if she should come to any harm that Musharraf would be responsible.

P.S.

Although it may not be apparent by my post, I felt a vast amount of shock and grief when I heard the story.  My family shares a political history with hers and were actually political victims of her father.   My heart and prayers go out to her children, who are probably suffering the most.

-aa

P.P.S.

Apparently, the place where Benazir was assassinated, was just yards away from where her father was hanged in a murderous coup when he was prime minister.  The most eerie fact is that, the park “Liaquat Bagh” was named after the first prime minister of the country, Liaquat Ali Khan, who was shot dead by an assassin at the exact same spot.

(note to self: when I run for prime minister of Pakistan, don’t hold rallies at Liaquat Bagh)

Middle East “Democracy”

Nov 21, 2007 in Foreign Policy, Pakistan

(Musharraf) “hasn’t crossed the line” and “truly is somebody who believes in democracy.”    -George Bush

He just has a funny way of showing it, I guess, considering it’s been eight years since he seized power in a military coup and has routinely jailed dissidents and prospective opponents. One has to ask, where is the line drawn? Considering our complacent attitudes towards the monstrous conditions one could find in everyday Saudi Arabia, Musharraf doesn’t have much to worry about.

Platitudes like the one above regarding Musharraf remind me of the Clinton administration describing Suharto as “our kind of guy” or Thomas Friedman saying of post Gulf War I, Iraq that the “best of all worlds” would be an “iron-fisted military junta” to come in and resume power. The fact is that be you Republican or Democrat, whether or not a country is a democracy or not is of no concern. Being a predictable client state is.

-mg

Pakistan Coup – the Aftermath

Nov 07, 2007 in Pakistan

Here’s part 2 of my previous post, about the recent coup in Pakistan.

The story so far….

Supreme Court is dissolved, with the provincial supreme courts facing the same treatment.  Lawyers are beaten up and arrested en masse.  The Human Rights Commission offices are ransacked, and all who are found inside are locked up and jailed.  Martial law is imposed.  Telephone services, TV stations, all forms of communication are disabled.  For the most part.  People are still able to, however, call out on some cellular services.   I think some people are also able to get some sort of internet access, since I am able to receive Pakistani news via the newspapers’ websites.  All of whom are critical of the current regime.

One would now assume that this now a military police state, where not even a mouse can move without a military officer noticing, right? 

So what’s happening in the rest of the country?

Well in one of the northern provinces in the country, all police and armed forces officers surrendered to Taliban forces.  What the fuck?  Didn’t Musharraf just claim that the Judiciary was to blame for all the terrorists running free and rampant, and that’s why he had to impose a state of emergency?  Anyway, so not only did the Pakistani Armed Forces surrender in the North of Pakistan, but the Pakistani flags have been removed from that region.

It’s like Branch Davidians, taking over Maine,Texas  and all US government officials and armed forces peacefully giving up and handing them the reins.  Then on top of that having all US flags from the state of Texas Maine removed. [I removed Maine, since I figured Dana would say that, well they’re socialist anyway so they can have Maine]….

I’m not making this up.  This is from one of the leading Pakistani newspapers:

The imposition of emergency in Pakistan has not put any pressure on Taliban in Swat district, who have not only imposed Shariah but also removed the National flags from all government buildings in areas under their control.

By they way, I used to vacation there. Those people are peace-loving, and did not welcome the Taliban with open arms, they have been held hostage. It’s terrible and tragic what’s happening there. It’s one of the few regions that has an ancient Christian minority as well as other pre-historic animist religions which have been allowed to prosper since time immemorial. Obviously, all these ancient cultures and traditions will be brutally ravaged.

-aa

Pakistan Coup Part Deux

Nov 06, 2007 in Foreign Policy, Middle East, Pakistan, Politics

As the title mistakenly suggests, this is not a second installment of a previous post.

Pakistan has been all over the news lately, and provides the US with cannon fodder for their exploits, I mean war in Afghanistan.

So here I am a Pakistani American, offering my analysis of the situation.  I apologize in advance, for the length of this post, but, it’s as short as I could make it.  I could go further in length, on any of the issues or subjects brought up here.

The first was to topple the democratically (fairly?  Well as fair as a US election….) elected gov’t, a few years ago.  It was a bloodless coup, and without much protest. The democratically elected prime minister at that time, was a political and religious conservative.  He privatized many industries in the country and improved general infrastructure.  However he also allowed the religious fundamentals to prosper and grow into the 9 headed hydra we see today.  So during the first coup, Musharraf played to the hearts and minds of those that did not want Pakistan to become another Saudi Arabia. 

Musharraf started off good and set towards a path of actually reviewing what the madrassahs (Islamic religious schools) were actually teaching.  For example were they teaching ballistics training or transcendental meditation?  Or….  How to behead a white devil vs. learn to read and write Arabic.

To his credit, the first and only female Prime Minister in a Muslim country, Benazir Bhutto did nothing to reform these institutions, and actually supported the Taliban regime whilst she was ruler of Pakistan (TWICE).

Fast forward to today.

Musharraf’s current coup is against a supposedly independent branch of gov’t that offers checks and balances to the other branches, the judiciary.

Why?  You might ask?

Where the first coup went wrong……

First of all, please understand that Musharraf is the head of the army and has access to the military at his disposal.  Musharraf really didn’t make good on his promises.  All those mullahs and madrassahs that were picking up poor disenfranchised youths and turning them into suicide bombers, that Musharraf promised to do away with.  He didn’t.  Instead, they became his friends too and maybe he gave them some money and other support.

He claimed to be helping their US in their fight against Al Qaeda and Taliban.  Under Musharraf’s watch, for the first time in Pakistan’s history, in the most secular city in the country, militants held the city hostage, undeterred.   I’m talking about the Red Mosque scandal.  Where for almost a year, it was being used as a safehouse for Al Qaeda.  No one in the country, believes for a second, that Musharraf didn’t know what was going on.  It was only after they kidnapped a Chinese national, did the Chinese pressure Musharraf to take care of it.

Secondly, 50% of the country which borders Afghanistan has become a safe-haven for Al-Qaeda and Taleban.  Mountainous areas in the north which were tourist and vacationing spots, known for their peace-loving and docile people, are falling under the oppressive yoke of militants kicked out of

Afghanistan.  All under Musharraf’s watch.
So back to the Why?

Musharraf’s answer:

I’ll paraphrase from what I’ve seen and heard through various news outlets.

Basically he claims that the judiciary are to blame for the current lawlessness.  He also accuses them of allowing militants and religious extremists to operate undeterred.

Based upon what I mentioned about, you be the judge.

All the judiciary can do is pass judgements, they have no way of enforcing any edict or law or ruling.  He’s the head of the army.  If there are militants running amok, he has the wherewithal to at least try and stop it.

What I believe are the 3 main reasons:

1) The Supreme Court was questioning the legitimacy of Musharraf’s rule, and whether or not he can even stand for elections as President of Pakistan without giving up his position as Chief of Armed Forces.

The backdrop for this is that the Bush Administration has been pressuring Musharraf to have “free and fair” elections.  He finally agreed, but also put himself in as candidate.  The Supreme Court is trying to block his candidacy, as being unconstitutional.

Also for the first time in history, the judiciary has grown some balls.  Under all previous coups and dictatorships, the dictators have altered the constitution and coerced the judiciary to claim their regime as legitimate.

Basically, Musharraf tried the same thing that other dictators before him tried.  That is, to get the blessing of the Supreme Court for the legitimacy of his rule.  No such luck.  They were actually “debating” the legitimacy of his rule and the legitimacy of his candidacy for President. Well, if they were actually debating it, rather than giving him a carte blanche, that meant they were going to come to an unfavorable decision.

2) The Supreme Court was getting ready to repeal the amnesty offered to Benazir Bhutto.  They have several charges of corruption against her, as does Interpol.  In addition the Government of Switzerland already found that she had looted some billions of Rupees from the people of Pakistan.

This ruling doesn’t suit Musharraf’s or the US interest.  Benazir has always been a golden girl for the

US.  Brought up in the US and educated in Harvard, she is someone that is easy to talk to, for the US gov’t.  They pushed Musharraf to pardon all the crimes she committed and allow her to come back to Pakistan.
The people of Pakistan have suffered for 2 terms in the past under Benazir.  They don’t want a repeat of that.  However, hers is the most organized political party.  She can draw crowds.   Incidentally, Musharraf served in the army while she was Prime Minister.  Their relationship goes way back, they supported terrorists in Kashmir, and were 1 out of 2 nations that supported the oppressive Taliban regime.

3) The third and final nail in the coffin was an actual ruling by the Supreme Court.  They ruled the exile of former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif as unconstitutional, and that he be allowed to return immediately to Pakistan.

A small footnote to this, is that there were several cases pending in the Supreme Court where they were investigating the “disappeared” of Pakistan.  The prisoners of conscience.  This also works against Musharraf’s interests.

Below are links to the analysis of the situation by Pakistani scholars and journalists based in the US. 

A more eloquent and concise writer than myself, is the Pakistani Scholar/Novelist/Historian, Tariq Ali, an infrequent guest on Democracy Now.  He sums the situation up pretty nicely here:

http://thenews.jang.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=79015

Another analysis is by Liaquat Ali Khan, a professor in Kansas:

http://www.counterpunch.com/alikhan11062007.html

-aa

America’s secret mistress-Pakistan

Oct 20, 2007 in Islam, Middle East, Pakistan, Politics

This started off as a response to the Infidel Sage’s comment on my post about benazir returning to Pakistan. But I soon realized that the comments and responses were getting a bit off topic from the original post.

I also realized that my comments on there were becoming a bit more verbose and maybe warrented a new post altogether. This is in response as to whether or not Pakistan is of vital interest to the US.

Why is Pakistan of interest to the US?
The relationship goes back to, as I mentioned in an earlier post, the Nixon administration.

The US wanted to open diplomatic relations with China, so Nixon and Kissinger,
courted the then foreign minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

There was some backroom dealings that if Pakistan could help the US open diplomatic relations then the US
would support Bhutto’s coup to become the next civillian dictator of the country.

So Pakistan aided Nixon in courting China, and in return the US turned a blind eye to the tragic events that led
to and included the terrible civil war and genocide of the Bengalis of Pakistan.

Every successive Republican regime in the US remembers Pakistan’s aid with China, and considers them a strategic
ally.

Another important thing to note is that twice Pakistan has been instrumental in the US dealings with
Afghanistan. Firstly, during the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan, it was in Pakistan and with
Pakistan’s help that the mujahideen (freedom fighters) were trained and it was from Pakistani
soil that they carried out operations to topple the Soviet regime in Afghanistan. (the movie Charlie Wilson’s war describes this in further detail, apparently)

Pakistan’s reward for helping the US kick out the Soviets from Afghanistan was that they turned a blind eye
when Pakistan began developing the nuclear bomb (with US money).

By the way, it was these same mujahideen that are now the Taliban. Also, Osama was trained by the US in
Georgia, during this time. The Taliban used these same stinger missiles provided by the US, against the US.

After 9/11, again it was with Pakistan’s aid and assistance, logistically and otherwise, that the US waged
war with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. It was the Pakistani locals who were the actual ground troops and
cannon fodder in the US operations in Afghanistan, while the US conducted mainly air strikes.

Another reason why the US is so interested in Pakistan is that it is the only nuclear armed Islamic
country (so far).

-aa

Toto we ain’t in Karachi anymore…..

Oct 18, 2007 in Benazir Bhutto, Middle East, Pakistan, Politics

There’s a new movie coming out by the end of the year, called Charlie Wilson’s war, that is a satirical look at the “bizarre love triangle ™” that has existed between the US, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, via the CIA. But that’s a topic for another post, that I hope to write when the movie comes out.

The topic of this post is the return of the ex-Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto. The reason I mentioned the above, is because her ties to the CIA go back to her father.

Although Benazir’s return to Pakistan is being highly celebrated in the western world. I would like to use Chile as the best analogy.

Benazir’s father was the equivalent of Pinochet. Now if Pinochet had a daughter, who did just as much damage, if not more, than her dad, that would be Benazir.

Although the current regime in power is a military dictatorship, the current leader of Pakistan, Musharraf, has done more during his tenure to repeal repressive Islamic laws, including laws that were harmful to women. Benazir was Prime Minister twice, and both times she looted the country, had people “disappeared” and murdered, and did nothing for the plight of the oppressed women of the country.

But just see, she will miraculously “win” the elections of Pakistan, and be hailed by all western leaders as the beacon of peace and a model for women in the Muslim world. We’ll hear that everything is hunky dory in Pakistan, whilst she will continue to loot the country once again.

Please read this for more information on Benazir’s misdeeds (she’s wanted by Interpol, by the way….no not the mope-rock band)

The following are the views of the Pakistani literati on Benazir’s return to Pakistan

http://www.dawn.com/weekly/cowas/cowas.htm

Yet another (please note the touch of sarcasm in the following article)

http://www.dawn.com/weekly/ayaz/ayaz.htm

P.S. my condolences to the innocent victims of the bomb blasts in Pakistan. I of course believe that Benazir’s people had it staged, to garner more sympathy for her.

-aa