Pakistan & USA - Allies in the war on Terrorism !
Pakistan, since 9/11, continues to be in the news prominently. Pakistan has had a long relationship with the U.S. During the cold war, through the seventies and eighties, Pakistan served the interests of the West, mainly the U.S., by providing tactical support and intelligence.
Pakistan's role in supporting the Afghans defeat the occupying Soviet Army and end "the evil empire" in the eighties is readily acknowledged. The extensive and intensive long drawn experiences that Pakistan has gained in its' short history and its' loyalty to the U.S. has not rendered for its' masses any progress or security.
Pakistan provides for the U.S. a very useful model that reflects not only the inherent problems that nations may face because of lack of economic development, but also allows us to examine our foreign policy that in many instances around the globe, has caused instability and chaos that in turn create conditions that foster a hatred of the United States and allow terrorism and extremism to take root.
The world community presently faces a triple threat: of religious extremism, nuclear proliferation and terrorism. In different parts of the world, one or the other of this troika is affecting governments and masses. However, nowhere else in the world has this unholy trinity come alive collectively, than in Pakistan.
How has Pakistan evolved into the kind of state which is perceived a threat to global peace and security? Pakistan's short history of 57 years has been driven mainly by two factors: the mutual hostility between India and Pakistan and Pakistan's support by the U.S. driven by the U.S.'s own strategic interests whether in defeating the Soviets or, as seems the case now, in defeating terrorism.
The hostility between India and Pakistan has a historical/religious basis. Much of it has to do with the Colonial experience that the people of the Indian Sub-continent were subjected to and the mess that the partition of the Indian subcontinent caused when the British hurriedly left their former colony after WW II.
The US involvement in the region came about as part of the Cold War Strategy: we needed allies in close proximity to the Soviet perimeter allowing us the ability for surveillance of the USSR. Acting in its own interest the US befriended Pakistan. From the time of President Eisenhower until now, Pakistan has played a major role in US foreign policy whether it was during the Cold War or the presently continuing War on Terror.
Interestingly, during the worse moments of these conflicts, Pakistan has always stood beside the U.S. and the U.S. fortuitously has found a General at the helm of affairs in Pakistan --- from President Field Marshall Ayoub Khan during the U2 incident when the Soviets shot down the spy plane flown by Gary Powers which had flown out of an American Base in Pakistan, to Gen. Zia ul-Haq during the Afghan war, to the present War on Terror and Gen. Musharraf, our ally. It appears that the U.S.'s own strategic interests were the only reason behind its long relationship with Pakistan. During these periods all kinds of military aid was provided to strengthen the hands of the Pakistan Army. How much weaponisation of the area occurred as a result of our involvement is evident when one could purchase a Stinger Missile in an open market until recently in the border areas of Pakistan.
This important development is enormously significant in the Terrorism story. The other equally, if not more important dimensions of the fall-out is the emergence of religious extremism. In a region devastated by war hardly any attention was paid by the U.S. to political and economic development - issues vital to any nation. After the Afghan war, the US just packed up and left with no concern for the people of Pakistan or the political, economic and other development of the country. Bad politics and religious extremism form a natural alliance to the detriment of progress of any people. The US must surely know this.
A look now at Pakistan itself. Pakistan as a state has failed in all modern aspects of state hood and governance. Coming into existence on a religious basis, as a homeland for Muslims of the Indian sub-continent, by and large it has failed to deliver to its masses not only the basic necessities of living but has also allowed to breed a mutation of Islam totally contrary to its values and ethos.
Pakistan has repeatedly failed in evolving, if not into a "democracy", at least into a form of representative government and most of its 57 years have been under military rule, although the converse could also be argued. The political system has remained undeveloped because it has been made into a fiefdom as it were of a few families and the Army - the feudal base of these leaders, and others whose empowerment has been through amassing wealth by corrupt business practices, looting the government treasury, or by military coups. Transparency and accountability are not in the lexicon of these leaders whose sole ambition is power, not the progress of the people they profess to serve.
Accumulation of political power or leadership in Pakistan has been mainly through a combination of one of several ways. Feudal connections and large landholdings render generations of people working on these lands into servitude and total dependence on the feudal lord for their livelihood - they can hardly be expected to raise their voice or cast their votes with freedom. There are those including bureaucrats and army officers who have thrust themselves into leadership positions after acquiring and amassing wealth through corruption, bribery, and other illegal means. For them being in power and decision-making not only protects their ill-gained fortunes but adds to them. In every government, including the present one, there are cabinet members or people in powerful positions who fall in this category.
Then there is the Army. It has become part of the mind set of an average Pakistani, that the army is the least of all evils and therefore must be allowed to trash the political system and come into power as it chooses in the name of national emergency. There is no acknowledgement of the fact that this further sets back the emergence of a representative government. Sadly this idea is so pervasive that even the educated Pakistanis living in Pakistan or elsewhere including here stand up and cheer when they see a uniformed "Messiah" leading them to the promised land. The result of and partly contributing to the above are the other two key Factors: lack of economic development and illiteracy, each dovetailing and feeding into the other thus perpetrating the cycle of misery for the people of Pakistan.
The stage is set for the worse form of religion to surface and further exploit the masses. Hatred of others including India becomes a sustaining passion. The same argument is the driving force for the fundamentalist Hindu leaders across the border. Sowing sectarian hatred and religious bigotry, the religious leaders whose worldview is always " Us vs. Them", make the situation worse for the gullible masses. It is interesting that though the Army and the religious groups hate each other, Gen. Musharraf retains political power in no small measure through alliances with the religious leaders.
The birth and acquisition of nuclear technology in the sub continent is the worst tragedy for the region, not just in terms of its potential consequences, but also because of its economic impact. This money could easily be utilized in the social sector, health and education where it is critically needed. The defense budgets which eat up an enormous amount of both countries' budgets, expenditure on this destructive force is unconscionable for both.
Lastly, because of all the social and political pathologies that Pakistan has come to represent, terrorism is an expected out come. The war on terrorism continues. The packaging and branding of the war has been under the "Al-Qaeda" label. It may be easy to sell this "war" if it is packaged and made identifiable by a brand name, yet terrorism itself remains ubiquitous and not easily rendered neatly tied up with a ribbon in a box. The dynamics and the cross currents that we see in Pakistan are complex but must be understood properly. In view of all of this, it is not at all surprising that Pakistan has played such a key role in "Wal-Martization" of nuclear weapons and technology. Every thing and everyone is on sale in Pakistan.
Why do they hate us? This question is being asked more and more in this country. The answer lies in looking at our relationship with Pakistan and other countries and recognizing what went wrong. Instead of supporting the military infrastructure of the countries, the U.S. can strengthen the infrastructure of peace and prosperity by supporting the countries develop in peaceful ways. If we are to make any headway in this war on terror we ought to rethink our foreign policy and find better ways of engaging with the people across the world rather than being supportive of dictators, monarchs and despots.
Our involvement with Saddam during his early days is a lesson enough. We must demand transparency and accountability for the masses from any of the regimes we support; even during the transition that some of the countries like Pakistan is going through, this must never be ignored. Then only can we hope for a democratic future for these nations.
Understanding these issues and addressing them as policy matters and Prioritizing them will help us gain some ground in this war. The general's friendship and loyalties may only be a short-term victory in a battle and not in the War.
Dr. Nazir Khaja is a Pakistani American. He is Chairman of Islamic Information Service that produces weekly Islamic programs for television. He practices and teaches Medicine. He is also active in inter-faith dialogues and activities related to Peace, Justice and Mutual Tolerance.
Topics: Foreign Policy, Pakistan
I feel that after the AMericans are done using Musharraf's position of authority as much as they can, that when they start to ignore him and discard him, and neglect his position, he too will build resentment towards America, and will suffer the same fate as Pakistan's first PM.
Corruption is the lifestyle in Pakistan. Iraq's governmental past, all of Sham, and many North African Muslim countries are not any better.
On the other hand, Pakistan does play a strategic role as it is situated in a particular region where the movement from Isfahan and Khurasaan will begin, Insha'Allah.
I recently watched a conference being held by Musharraf in which a crowd full of hindu businessmen and bollywood actors and actresses gave him a standing ovation for his position of freeing the people of Kashmir from the cluches of fundamentalists. Let's be fair and say, on one side he is doing good, and on the other, he is taking part in a terrible evil.
If we aren't fair and impartial, then we'll never learn to get along. One sidedness is our downfall...but understanding and respect for our differences of opinion are what will make us diverse and dignified as many states taking part in an Islamic United Front.
Grow up boy, the Americans dont see you as allies, infact I'd love to hear your commentary once they decide to target Pakistan. Its political prostitutes like yourselves who have made Pakistan the joke that it is today, under a dictatorial US puppet general.
Besides Al-Qaida must be clear from all over the world........ this would be the great step bye US-PAK......
Even though Pakistan doesn't really a great track record preventing terror,(more like harbouring it). I see Pakistan like a robber helping the police to catch his buddies, or the soccer fan jumping on the other fan wagon mid game just because his team is loosing.
You may say you are not collectively accusing us of bias, but your use words to the contrary : Let me repeat what you said just in case you have forgotten:
"as they are known in the Muslim world, "The World Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders".
The emphasis is on "known in the Muslim world" whilst using such a hate inciting phrase so carelessly. Some of us are not idiots as to the intention such a phrase may hold.
And no I have not 'got my mind made up'. I am always open to new ideas and will always remain to be convinced by facts about any matter under the sun. Bring your evidence in any subject and many of us with knowledge are convinced. We are not people with closed minds as you would like to believe, thus avoiding the truth of the issue.
I have travelled with Jews and entertained Christians in my home and my mother has cooked for them perhaps long before you were born! When my mind becomes closed to learning is the time I am dead.
but I give you the benefit of doubt in what you say except you must choose your words wisely as they do have other conotations.
Perhaps consider the possible merits of the following test. Suggest striving to bring the sorts of improvements which "the students" are advocating for your homeland to the homelands of "the students" themselves without utilizing their services in a managerial capacity. If they seem to become uncharacteristically irritated then I would personally think you should be cautious of their intentions. If however they raise no strong objections but merely perhaps seem puzzled and perhaps even a bit mistrusting of your own intentions then I would personally imagine their own stated intentions are probably genuine. Logically of course this very same sort of test should apply equally well in evaluating the intentions of persons such as myself. Insha'Allah.
But some people, have really Hi-jacked the meaining of JIHAD by declaring it is fighting Jews and Christain. They either fear above Islamic (Give yourself to Allah wish) or they don't know what they are talking about.
If you are Christain or Jew or any other religious people look at your God, prophet, Saints, Holy men etc. you might have heard the story where he/she did something out of way in the name of God. If you believe in Adam and Eve, then they had first Jihad (They survive on EARTH, with Allah help). King David fought Jihad against Goliath, Moses fought Jihad against King of Egypt, Jesus fought Jihad against some Corrupt and dishonest ruler and also against the PREACHER. Jihad doesn't means Victory in this World and all the time. Sometime Jihad is lesson to be learnt, like right now. I have seen people with little or now knowledge of Islam and they tell the meaining of Jihad, which according to me is they might have heard on American News channel or Islamphobia News channel. If you truely wants to then you will find it, but if WANT TO PROJECT LIKE SMARTAXX THEN GOODLUCK MY FRIEND.
All above are the examples of different kind of Jihad.
If I have oppended anybody with my comments or disrespect anybody intelligent, I am sorry. God please help and show me the right path and not of those who you have rejected (Amen).
By the way....aaj kaal kei bachei jo pakistan sei arei hai, unkho Islam kei barei mei kuch bhi nahi pata hai. Hollywood, baywatch, aur American dollars unkkhei liye sabkuch hai. Agar aap Pakisan mai ek 15 saal kei larkeeya ko ek saaw amreekan dollars ko do kaow gey, wo thumarei liye kuch bhi karlegi..yeh apki idea hai Islam ke barei mai, jo Pakistan kei bandei duniya ko dakaarehei hai. Pakistan kei bachei bilkul hee bhoolgey hai ke Islam asal sei kiya hai aur Islam kei liye kiya karna partha hai. Aap yeh baath apne damaakh mei rakhei next time apnei istharaa kei comments bana nee hai. mehrbani.
Perhaps consider the possible merits of the following test. Suggest striving to bring the sorts of improvements which "the students" are advocating for your homeland to the homelands of "the students" themselves without utilizing their services in a managerial capacity. If they seem to become uncharacteristically irritated then I would personally think you should be cautious of their intentions. If however they raise no strong objections but merely perhaps seem puzzled and perhaps even a bit mistrusting of your own intentions then I would personally imagine their own stated intentions are probably genuine. Logically of course this very same sort of test should apply equally as well to people such as myself. Insha'Allah.
on mor thing th way Musharaf avoidd wars and still is standing on his two ft no political ladr could hav don so w all saw what Mian j did in Kargil War. and what happnd to libya and Iran whn thy said no daddy Amrica it wasnt us it was th paki kid who told us how to mak this stuff.
gt your facts straight and compar thm with walthy muslim (OR to say) coutris who ar so wk thy canot surviv on wk without out sd aid.
you s th gulf who cant vn mak a tooth brush. at las Pakistan is now turning into a grat muslim industrial nation with mor tchnology and mor powr dvlopd by our own ppl.
I hop you dont mind my patritism with your country. and I am sorry If I hav disapointd or hav hurt you.
God Blss Pakistan
I do not paint "all" Muslims in any particular way. I have said this before, and now I am saying it again. If you are intent on believing this despite what I have told you clearly, then I will not waste my time trying to refute you on this. Nor will I waste my time addressing the rest of your comments below, since in that case you will have already made up your mind on what to believe.
"as they are known in the Muslim world, "The World Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders".
In another forum you sruggled to defend similar views but failed in my opinion. You have much little knowledge and that is dangerous. It is utter ignorance in my book to collectively paint a people with the same tar brush. This is done by your media and people like you fall for it every time, sadly.
Let me remind you again as one Muslim brother said: We are over a billion people with various tongues and customs. The only thing that a Moroccan Muslim and an Idnonesian Muslim have in common is their religion. The rest is as different as two flowers in the same meadow. But people liek you are either colour blind or refuse to see the truth.
By the way, it was Pakistan that gave birth to Taliban because they saw Taliban as one party which could bring control in Afghanistan after it was ravaged by internal carnage. Yet your government not only has sided with the military dictatorship in Pakistan but also supports the very warlords in Afghanistan who were behind the historical carnage in that country.
In short your government shakes hands with the devil himself if it is in your interest, or should I say in the interest of the Zionists. And that is another subject but suffice to say the Zionists interests in ME is not the same as those of America. Franklin Roosovelt warned against enmishing your interests with those of other nation. But wisdom is in short supply when it comes to politics and self-interest. It has nothing to do with so-called war on terrorism, as Iraq is a clear example.
Also, I really like PINR articles that are "drafted" by Erich Marquardt. At IslamiCity I have seen a link to at least one of those articles in the past. PINR's "market niche" within the newsmedia appears to be "leaving the moral judgments to the reader."
"Why Nuclear Weapons May Be In Iran's National Interests"
"Can Iran's Pursuit of Nuclear Technology Be Thwarted By Air Strikes?"
"Tehran Outmaneuvers Washington For Now"
Also through Zaheer's words Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) has reminded me yet again to make du'a for my beloved mother. Perhaps the brother might take a few moments to make du'a for his own parents as well insha'Allah.
What bothers me is that no one ever talks about the opinion that Pakistan is a failed state because it has failed to follow its objectives of why it was formed. I mean Mohammad Ali Jinah might have pictured Pakistan to be a "secular Muslim governed" state but the people of Pakistan never envisioned it such. From my grand parents (who migrated from India) to people in my generation and in the next most Pakistani's want Pakistan to be an Islamic state, I mean with Islamic law, economy and governance.
In my opinion until Pakistan provide this to its peoples. There will always be confusion and volumes of confused advice written on the subject of "what's wrong with Pakistan"
What would happen if what happened in Iraq happened in America?
I know that every White male from 13 to 90 would
take up arms and defend their country.
If perhaps you have recently embraced Islam, I think it is wonderful. If so then by all means please share you story with us (insha'Allah).
I "heartily concur" that economic development should have priority, for example, over what the people of another country want to have as the form of their government. As I understand it, America's leaders once based decisions pertaining to Vietnam on precisely that sort of thing (the people's choice of government). And, while I certainly remain no fan of Bolshevism, freedom of choice "for all the people" is clearly right and salutary. And may peace be upon you!
Islamic Republic of Pakistan is not different.
We should not forget that we still live in a world whose 80% population does not have access to a telephone line.
Pakistan's leadership has to be careful not to go along with IMF and World Banks pressure supported by Multi Corporation recommendations.
And need to know not to compromise on its strong assets, that are man power and agriculture.
It is the worlds 5th largest Milk producing country.
And its Agriculture is one which easily supports its population 140 millions daily.
Now coming to these 2 issues (Agriculture and Manpower).
Pakistan citizens working abroad makes one of the biggest contribution to foreign exchange needs of pakistan.
Multi National companies such as Nestle is already there to get its share. Along with many.
The landlords are there to protect the agriculture land and its interst at any cost.
Most of the times even stronger than the Government itself.
Where Police cannot go in uniform to any landlords house as they pleases.
Pakistan has its economy of its own. And is not disrupted easily just with International sanctions alone. This has already been proven.
Pakistan needs a system that works with its ideology , more or less like Islamic Republic of Iran Government set up.
Many of t
"The world community presently faces a triple threat: of religious extremism, nuclear proliferation and terrorism."
frankly, i don't agree with the writer. although these are certainly threats, they are not the most important or top three. if we were to poll the world, what percentage of people would name these as their top three threats? not many. the top three is more likely: poverty (inequal distribution of wealth), hunger, and disease. unfortunately, the author tows the mainstream line as to what are the 'greatest' threat to the world community.
unfortunately, if we were to eliminate his three threats, my top three would still exist. however, if we address my top three threats then his threats would either disappear or diminish.
we, as muslims, need to champion the rights of the poor and oppressed. their afflications should be of paramount concerns, not those of the priviliged. if we continue to view the world's problems this way we will continue to address the symptoms and not the sources.
ANCHORED IT TO BECOME AN ISLAMIC STATE AND THIS IS A MAJOR CAUSE OF IT BECOMING A FAILED STATE.
SHIAS KILL SHIITES AND SHIITES KILL SHIAS AND BOTH KILL AHMADIS. ISLAM HAS LED PAKISTAN TO
A LEVEL OF CHAOS THAT IS BEYOND DESCRIPTION.
IRONICALLY. PAKISTAN'S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PATHOLOGIES CAN BE DIRECTLY TRACED TO THE GROWING INFLUENCE OF ISLAM. PRESIDENT MUSHARAF HAS
SAID SO IN SIMPLE WORDS. THE ONLY THING UNITING PAKISTAN IS HATRED OF INDIA BUT THIS IS NO VIABLE BASIS FOR BUILDING A MODERN STATE. LET US HOPE THAT THE PRESENT PEACE MOVES WITH INDIA WILL AMOUNT TO SOMETHING. THE SITUATION IN PAKISTAN IS MADE MORE COMPLEX BY THE ISLAMIC INFLUENCE
IN THE MILITARY AND ITS INTELLIGENCE ARM, THE INTER-SERVICE INTELLIGENCE OR ISI, WHICH PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE IN SUPPORTING THE ABORIGINAL TALIBAN
IN AFGHANISTAN. SOME EX-ISI LEADERS LIKE HAMID GUL AND MILITARY LEADERS LIKE GENERAL ISLAM BEG
ARE CERTIFIED ANTI-AMERICANS LIKE THEIR NUCLEAR MENTOR ABDUL KHAN, THE FOR-PROFIT NUCLEAR PROLIFERATOR. IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT ALL THIS TALENT IS BEING CONSUMED BY HATRED INSTEAD OF NATION-BUILDING. IT IS EASIER TO HATE THAN TO
BUILD. THE US CONGRESS IS CONSIDERING ANOTHER AID PACKAGE WORTH $3 BILLION TO THIS DESPERATE NATION. WHILE RELIGION IS MAKING A MESS OF PAKISTAN, MANY PAKISTANI IMMIGRANTS ARE COMING TO AMERICA AND ESTABLISHING THE SAME RELIGION IN
AMERICA. LET US HOPE THEY DO NOT MAKE A MESS OF AMERICA AS WELL. THE ONLY HOPE FOR PAKISTAN IS PEACE WITH INDIA, CLOSE ALLIANCE WITH AMERICA
AND MARGINALIZING TERRORIST GROUPS LIKE LASHKAR-I-TAIBA. TERRORISM AND ISLAM ARE CHOKING THE DESTINY OF PAKISTAN. GOD BLESS AMERICA AS IT
TRIES TO BRING ORDER OUT OF CHAOS THAT IS PAKISTAN.