Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The west has not just repressed democracy. It has aided terror

Pakistan has as many paradigms as pundits. What is clear, however, is that meddling will only ever foment disorder

Simon Jenkins in Lahore
Wednesday January 9, 2008
The Guardian

"The Pakistani senator gazed at the headline in despair. It read: "US weighs new covert push in Pakistan". Washington was authorising "enhanced CIA activity" in the country while US Democratic candidates declared they were all ready "to launch unilateral military strikes in [Pakistan] if they detected an imminent threat". Hillary Clinton wanted "joint US-UK oversight" of Pakistan's nuclear weapons. In a country where anti-Americanism is almost a religion, said the senator, this is "an answer to a Taliban prayer".......

Backing Musharraf has always seemed "a good idea at the time". The next person to be cursed with Washington's favour appears to be Musharraf's successor as army chief, General Ashfaq Kiyani. However, by opting for the realpolitik of dictatorship the west has not just repressed democracy but aided insurgency and terror. It has yielded no security benefit to anyone. If Pakistan becomes a "failed state", the failure will, in large part, be one of democratic imagination in Washington and London. We simply refuse to practise what we preach."

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