Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pakistan's drift into the hands of extremists

The intention of the attack on Sri Lanka's cricket team was to send a clear message to Washington: Pakistan is ungovernable

Tariq Ali
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 3 March 2009

"......The first is undoubtedly the foolish decision by Washington (backed by Britain) to send more troops to Afghanistan, which has now united all those resisting them in that country and the North-West Frontier province of Pakistan. Instead of searching for a viable exit strategy, Obama has gone for a surge. On several occasions, I have warned that escalating the war in Afghanistan could seriously destabilise Pakistan and its army.

Second, Senator Dianne Feinstein's revelation that the US drones being used to target "militants" and "terrorist havens" inside Pakistan were, in fact, being despatched by the US from military and air-force bases inside Pakistan (obviously, with the approval of the Pakistani military and civilian leaders) created mayhem in the country. The shock and dismay should not be underestimated. Half-hearted government denials further fanned the flames. Since many in the country regard Zardari and his cronies running the country as US drones, the anger was multiplied.

Domestically, the country is a mess......

The failures of this government and its inability to defend the country's interests or its population from drones or terrorist attacks are paving the way for the return of the army to power as a way of avoiding a serious split within its own ranks. All that is awaited is a green light from the US embassy in Islamabad......"

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