Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Plot Thickens In Pakistan

Obviously the media has been pointed in a different direction, but it behooves us to take notice of what's going on in Pakistan.

As you know, US ally Musharraf suffered a severe defeat in the recent parliamentary elections, with the late Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Islamist Muslim League winning huge.

I've mentioned before that I foresaw some difficulties in the quasi-socialist kleptocrat PPP finding common ground with Saudi protege Sharif and the Islamist Muslim league,but they have apparently found a formula to bridge that gap, and are planning a coalition government based on a relatively anti-US posture, appeasement of the Taliban, al Qaeda and the Islamist factions like Jamaat-e-Islami, an end to anti-terrorist actions in Waziristan and the the NFP, and the tossing of the legitimately elected Musharraf out of office.

Today,we had a clear sign of the way the wind is blowing when the Islamists set off bombs in a federal police headquarters and a private business in the eastern city of Lahore on Tuesday, killing at least 20 people and wounding more than 150.

Did the PPP and the Muslim League blame the Islamists? Nah. It's all Musharraf's and the Americans fault:

"Ahsan Iqbal, a spokesman for the party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, condemned the attacks and blamed military operations ordered by Musharraf for destabilizing regions near the border with Afghanistan.

"He has carried out indiscriminate operations in the tribal areas that have opened up new fault lines in Pakistani society," Iqbal said.


A spokesman for the country's largest Islamic group, Jamaat-e-Islami, meanwhile blamed Musharraf's friendship with the United States for a campaign of attacks inside Pakistan.

It started when we started having a friendship with America. There were no suicide bombings in this country before that," said Syed Munawar Hasan, secretary general of group, which is among Musharraf's fiercest critics. The party boycotted recent elections.

"Unless there are whole domestic and foreign policy changes, I don't think this (terrorism) is going to stop," Hasan told Dawn News television. "Don't divorce terrorism from politics."

Iqbal reiterated his party's demand that Musharraf step down.

"Unless he resigns, there will always be a cause for all these groups to carry on these activities," he told Dawn News.

While the PPP's Asif Ali Zardari, Bhutto's widower and co-chairman of the party, made some vague statements to reassure the US that the new government would 'counter religious extremism' it's worth noting that they too support an end to attacks on the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Waziristan by the Pakistani military, they're in a coalition with the Islamist Saudi-backed Muslim League who feel even stronger on the subject - and one of the first things the new government has pledged to do is to release Pakistani nuclear scientist AQ Kahn from house arrest.

If you'll remember, he's the so-called 'father of the Islamic bomb' and a major source of weapons technology and proliferation to places like Iran.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kindly write about fate of Little nation having chosing new PM Pakistan becuase here is basic problem of little nation identity throughout culture, Language wrights as well as autonomy are important issue the are still in dusbin since Pakistan/Partition from All India. However, as for as my geo-political study concerned without solved sovergnity/autonomy issue they can't move more Pakistan in the name of Islam becuase Balochi and Sindhi nations are pure secular minded nation with all Pakistan Nationalist groups as well as PPP