Why is the situation in Pakistan irremediable?

Published on Voltairenet.org, by (Indian) General Vinod Saighal, January 21, 2008.

3 excerpts: … The assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the resulting turmoil in Pakistan has again brought into focus the strange symbiosis between the George W. Bush administration and the General who has plunged Pakistan into the sorry state in which it finds itself. Before commenting on this on-the-face-of-it unshakable bond attention is first invited to excerpts from a talk entitled “Geopolitical Clairvoyance” delivered to an international audience nearly 30 months ago. Quote:

“Turning to Pakistan it will be seen that Gen. Musharraf’s credentials for running Pakistan may appear increasingly attractive to the Western World and China, more recently, perhaps to India as well. The General was forced to do a U turn after 9/11 with a gun to his head. He capitulated.

Publicly he has been making all the right noises. These have been music to US ears. Even his liberal leanings may flow from genuine conviction. What is the reality on the ground, however?

The Jihadi elements, no matter how vociferously denounced by him in public proclamations from time to time, are flourishing as heretofore.

The madrasas – still spawning venom-spewing zealots – continue to mushroom. What is more, the political reach of the radical elements has been extended beyond their wildest expectations under his dispensation at the cost of the mainstream political parties. They are almost unshakably entrenched politically as well in the NWFP and Baluchistan …

… In early December, a former Pakistani government official supporting Bhutto visited a senior U.S. government official to renew Bhutto’s security requests. He got a brushoff, a mind-set reflected Dec. 6 at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. Richard Boucher, assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, was asked to respond to fears by non-partisan American observers of a rigged election.

His reply: “I do think they can have a good election. They can have a credible election. They can have a transparent and a fair election. It’s not going to be a perfect election.” Boucher’s words echoed through corridors of power in Islamabad. The Americans not demanding perfection signaled that they would settle for less. Without Benazir Bhutto around, it is apt to be a lot less” …

… Certain elements in the US were complicit as well by their knowledge of what was being planned, albeit not the full scale or nature of the operation. Senior people in the new US administration deliberately turned a blind eye to what was happening, both prior to the event and post facto. Having supped with the devil the US administration is not in a position to unilaterally abandon General Musharraf. The same dilemma holds good for the Pakistan Army and the ISI. It is the latter who have the Americans by the throat rather than the other way round.

The assets that the Americans have created in Pakistan for decades are far better informed about what is actually going on in Pakistan than the US media and other governments around the world who have been trying to remove the scales from the eyes of the Bush White House. The simple truth is that there never were any scales. The US administration on account of its past complicity has delivered itself, bound hand and and foot, to the Musharraf backers in Pakistan (the military-radical combine).

Despite daily inputs that Musharraf is two-timing them they have to keep bribing the Pakistan Army elements in the know by pushing large sums into their coffers year in and year out and supplying them with sophisticated weapons that can hardly be used against the radical elements gradually strengthening their hold on the Pakistani state.

The day is not far off when these weapons will be turned against the American and NATO forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Needles to add that the Brits have been in the know all along … (full long text).

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