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Pakistan’s Dangerous Path

Posted on Jan 9, 2008
AP photo / Sherin Zada

A Pakistani soldier keeps guard last Sunday near the volatile town of Mangora along the Afghan border.

We’ve heard and read what many Western news sources have had to say about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the ensuing turmoil in Pakistan.  Now, here’s an eminent voice from within the country, veteran journalist Ayaz Amir, offering his take on his nation at a crucial crossroads.

The News:

The killing of Benazir Bhutto puts our national failures under a spotlight. We know we are in trouble. We know that if we stick to the path we are on it will lead to disaster. The perils of one-man rule are known to us. We know that tricks played to perpetuate the present order, now in the last throes of bankruptcy, will lead to more upheaval. We know that national unity is at stake and that our salvation lies in democracy. Yet we continue to march towards the brink.

Complete selflessness is hard to come by because the pursuit of power—another name for politics—is not a saintly calling. But there are times when self-interest must take the backseat to national duty. This is such a time for Pakistan although it is a moot point whether there are too many people around capable of thinking big or having a sense of history, two conditions which must be met if we are to come anywhere near statesmanship.

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A Khokar's avatar

By A Khokar, January 10, 2008 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment

A TRAGIC END of an able but misguided daughter of Pakistan. “Not only this; US also started boasting about Benazir Bhutto; as a staunch US ally in a country where 70% people are against US in the global war on terror. Bhutto also bowed to the US rhetoric as a gesture to say a big thank you. This was a drastic miscalculation at her part to come back into power from back doors. After arrival she soon realised her folly and in order to back-pedal it and bring the masses in her favour, she heated up the political theatre by issuing fiery statement against Musharraf’s regime; who is by all means ready to step aside.”

Where as Musharraf is not found dithering an inch in his resolve in the face of this campaign of malignity against him (except that he seems bit perplexed) but all this short sighted and ill aimed scheme of United States cost Miss Benazir… her life. It is a tragic end of an able but misguided daughter of Pakistan while playing in the hand of US friends.

DARE TO STEP OUT OF THE LINE? Benazir Bhutto’s assassination; a little will be understood, what it truly means? Till the Arab-Nationalism phenomena is not very well perceived in it’s true context; which is revered so earnestly in Arab lands and it is sprawling fast in the broader Middle East which begins in Pakistan and ends on the Atlantic Ocean coast.

The famous pathology of Arab Nationalism was initiated, soon after, when the Arabs revolted against Ottoman Empire. It created a split of Arab world from the reins of Islam under Turk. The Centuries old connections with the traditional aspirations of knowledge, wisdom, sciences; the true founding essence of glory of Islam, emanating from the lands of– Persia and Turks, were severed. In pursuance of the pathology of Arab Nationalism; new motives were worked out to build up the ‘Arabists culture’ and infuse other various practices in Islam. A famous motto; “There is something more important than money and learning for preserving the honour of a nation and for keeping humiliation at bay”, it emphasised that, “That is strength; Strength….mean to excel in the Profession of Death.” It was vigorously cultivated among masses by radicals.

‘When the greatest values are set as to preach and glorify death by the radicals; what kind of ideology, what kind of society, what kind of values; could such priorities produce? We need to look and see’.
‘And what can be achieved when those who are the most forward-looking and most creative, who want to break with the ideas and methods creating a disastrous mess, the stagnant system which characterizes so much of the Broader Middle East, are systematically murdered like ; Benazir Bhutto, who met her tragic end while trying to step out of the line?’

Douglas; Thanks for your concern. I do try to contribute here on this forum only because I see that probably “Truthdig” is the only forum where contributors seems to have got their yearning for Truth and want to see peace and a justifiable systems working in this world on equality bases. I also contribute in few other Middle Eastern dailies, US Armed Forces Journal Forum, of conservative, Anti Muslims sites such as and many more.

I do love Army men; because army men of any country are the disciplined lot and the patriotic sons of their lands; They care for their countries and give their lives for it. They sacrifice their today; so that we all can live our tomorrow.

I under stand that Benazir Bhutto assassination is a major blow for Pakistan and it have thrown Pakistan in to a thick of turmoil and anarchy. But Pakistanis are very versatile and resilient lot. They know how to meet the difficult goals even in the direful and precarious situations. To tackle the odds and turn the failures into success are their traits and hallmarks of their dynamism which distinguish them from others.
Love for all, Hatred for none

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By A Khokar, January 10, 2008 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

Douglas; I have come of age that, it is no more hard for me to understand and read in between the lines and reach the bottom of the things. You have visited the US Armed Forces Journal web site and might have read that when Bhutto was being allowed, to land in Pakistan for her take over and these heated up debates of Pak Nuke were not yet there. I was able to predict the worst for Bhutto (in early October); and later on it exactly happened they way it was predicted.

Please go through the various topics on that website. All are available there on;

Few Topics;
DITCHING A PROXY. How Musharraf is being demonised by a divisive media plan to see him defunct.

BENAZIR; A BAD CHOICE OF US is a planned choice; which is “a poor US choice in Pakistan but probably… the ‘Neocons Smart Plan’..; to create mayhem in the country and then exploit the prevalent anarchy and finally move in…with their full sabre rattling; to grab the nuke assets of Pakistan on the pretext of security of arsenal and to shift them to some remote redoubts, out side Pakistan….. Pakistanis better watch out.

Continued… in part 2

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 9, 2008 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

“I fear that chaos ... or an extremist regime could take root in that country, which has 30 to 40 warheads,” the Egyptian-born Mr ElBaradei told the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat….. But in unusual public comments, Mr ElBaradei said he was “worried that nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of an extremist group in Pakistan or in Afghanistan”.

The intervention by the UN nuclear chief, on the eve of a visit to Iran, comes amid growing apprehension about the way jihadi militants linked to al-Qa’ida and the Taliban have cut a swath through Pakistan, seeking to take advantage of the country’s political turmoil.

The militants are particularly active in remote areas where Pakistan’s estimated 50 nuclear warheads are believed to be deployed, though officials in Islamabad have insisted there is no threat to their security or the country’s arsenal…..

In her last major interview before her assassination, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto expressed concern that “al-Qa’ida could be marching on Islamabad in two to four years”.

Yesterday, the respected newspaper Dawn argued that events in Pakistan seemed “to have paralysed the Government and rendered it incapable of tackling terrorism”. The newspaper said the worst aspect of the situation was that the Taliban had sympathisers within Pakistan’s military establishment

Mr ElBaradei said he feared “a war in the Middle East or in the Muslim world could have grave repercussions in Pakistan, more than in Iran”......,25197,23029526-2703,00.html

Additionally, it is interesting to note that a top Pakistani detective, Zubair Mahmood, who investigated the 2002 kidnap and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl
had also joined the Scotland Yard team investigating the assassination of Benazir Bhutto….....

The mystery of Bhutto’s killing deepened with reports yesterday quoting a Pakistani forensics expert saying he believed Bhutto was killed using a long-barrelled rifle with a silencer, rather than the pistol carried by a presumed assailant identified in the crowd at her last rally in Rawalpindi.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 9, 2008 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

better talk about elections only…Don’t place your self among traitors.

By A Khokar, January 9: “If Bhutto got killed; this country is not doomed…. She was an American trained robot; being implanted in Pakistan…”

Interesting to note that “men of valour and courage” in Pakistan’s military are so concerned as to post on Truthdig. They couldn’t give a damn about Benazir Bhutto whose family has been all but exterminated by them with successive coups and contrived hangings over the past few decades.

Whilst their military boys’ club enjoys the $billions pumped in by the USA, they turn and smear BB as merely an “American trained robot” despite her independence. In turn, they run the Al Qaeda operation for the Neocons and manage the links to the Talaban to keep the fake war running.

That, in turn, gives the USA an excuse to be perpetually “present” in the Gulf and in Iraq - and soon in Iran (in their dreams!). A Khokar should quote his Pakistani military rank and which group he is attached to whilst running his low-level propaganda campaign here. Its all a coverup!!!

President Musharraf should also know that all the proxy and mercenaries have their day; Pakistan may not be an exception to it; Musharraf has already been declared as spent cartridge and has been dictated to hand over the rein of his country to Miss Benazir Bhutto (the new implanted proxy in the theatre). He may not be able to cross this last ditch; of declaring a state of emergency in the country and stay clinging to his power. History shows that no one could be a better US proxy in Arab world than Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But this business of his; cost him his country as well as a show trial and gallows awaited him at the end to silence him for good.

You may not be the exception and….......... show goes on…
Love for all, Hatred for none

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By cyrena, January 9, 2008 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment

“Unexpected calamity is not tragedy. Tragedy is when you know that a certain course of action will lead to disaster but you can’t help yourself and keep marching in that direction. Inviting calamity thus is what makes for real tragedy.”

These are the opening words of the entire article, which is excellent. And, these words should be carefully considered, not just for Pakistan but for all of the dozens of other nations states, that have experienced such painful breaks from colonialism. I could name dozens right here, but I won’t.

The point is that The Authoritarian State is what it is, and is simply not intended for the benefit of its citizens. To make excuses for it only prolongs the tragedy.

And, it’s what our own nation has become, specifically in the past 7 years. We too, have become an authoritarian state, and Dick Cheney and his regime are our dictators, just as Musharraff is in Pakistan, having given up that military uniform only two weeks ago.

The one thing that is true, (and standard in an historical context) is that 80% of the authoritarian regimes and dictatorships that have come to power in the past 50 years, no matter where in the world, have generally occurred as a result of a US led coup, generally a covert action undertaken by the CIA. It has happened in Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, multiple nation states in South American, Afghanistan, Libya, Algeria, South Africa, Egypt, I could go on. With minimal exception, they are a result of the dissolution of colonial rule. Nearly always, the USA has assisted.

So yes, it IS a tragedy. When you know what the results will be, (disaster) and you let it happen anyway, that is the tragedy.

Musharraff was installed (and assisted by) the US long before they turned to Bhutto for any help. And, that’s just the way it is. The worse thing the people of any nation state can do, is to deny the reality.

We’ve done the same thing here, and that’s why we are not in much better shape than Pakistan.

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By A Khokar, January 9, 2008 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

Come on Ayaz Amir;Have a heart. Do you find any example in the entire world from any patriot countrymen; who speak ill of their own country? I know, you come from a creed, which are running a pirate Geo TV from a foreign land to spread despondency and are aiming at anarchy and mayhem in Pakistan.
If Bhutto got killed; this country is not doomed! Rest assure; there is no dearth of able leaders in Pakistan.
She was an American trained robot; being implanted in Pakistan. Why can’t you see that? If you are men of valour and courage; better come back with Geo (pirate) TV in your country and live by the rules. If you are men of courage then fight it out; I mean from in side out, while living in Pakistan.

There is election scheduled on; better talk about elections only and bring up some good people in the Parliament. Talk about strengthening your country and not breaking it.

Don’t place your self among traitors.

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By jbart, January 9, 2008 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s obvious that the author loves his country, its history, and yearns for a better future for it. I find it a shame that he,and peoples from other countries in the world,holds very similar feelings(as I do)about his own nation,his countrymen, and their collective future(s). He has my sympathy and best wishes that they (the Pakastanis) find a better way of existing in this ever-changing(but not necessarily better)world. I also,truly,hope that America has the same chance.

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