October 20, 2007

Pakistani politics are way beyond baffling

COMMENT BY Ramesh Parida on October 20, 2007 11:12 AM

Vicky Woods might very well say that Pakistani politics are way beyond baffling, but the fact of the matter is, Pakistan is a classic case of an independent country where democracy was subverted by the US and Britain right throughout the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies till date. Both these western powers consistently supported military dictatorships in Pakistan, so much so that, that at this moment, no democratic government can survive in Pakistan without the blessings of the army and US. I will not go far back into history. It is a fact that the rise of Islamist forces in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the guise of Taliban was only, and only due to the machinations of the US. It was the US, which, in order to throw out the Soviet army from Afghanistan, plied Pakistan's military dictator Zia ul Haq with arms and money, and this was funnelled to the Islamist forces in Afghanistan, which ultimately landed with the Taliban. It was Benazir Bhutto's government which reared the Taliban with the help of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI). It was the ISI which funded terrorist organisations in Pakistan to carry out mayhem in Kashmir and Afghanistan. Successive rulers like Nawaz Sharif and Pervez Musharraf followed this policy. The result is now there for all to see. During Musharraf's tenure, Islamist parties won elections in Northwest Frontier Province and revived Taliban, while on the other hand, Musharraf, in order to curry favours with the US, allowed American forces to use its airbases in the name of countering Al Qaeda. The situation has now come to such a pass that nearly 250 Pak soldiers are now being held by Taliban and Al Qaeda in South Waziristan. Hundreds of Taliban boys are being trained in the Islamic seminaries of Quetta and Peshawar and sent to Afghanistan as suicide bombers. The majority of the people in Pakistan are now fed up of America's Machiavellian policies. They want American forces to leave their country. The Pakistani people find that the US has armtwisted Musharraf to allow Benazir to come back, so that Musharraf could stay as a civilian President and Bhutto becomes the Prime Minister. That, also, will be a sham democracy, because a totally different treatment has been meted out to the other opposition leader Nawaz Sharif. The message has gone down to the Pakistani people that Bhutto and Musharraf have entered into a secret pact to share power with the blessings of the US. This has given Islamist forces a handle to beat America with. Thursday night's blasts in Karachi are a pointer to this. I shudder to think what will happen if any Islamist general in the Pak army acquires nuclear power through a coup, bloodless or otherwise. But all said and done, nobody can forgive the US and Britain for messing up with Pakistan's democracy

No comments: