Posted by: uss017 | November 18, 2007

A View from Within

A View from Within

Letter to ABC News.

Sabiha Sumar and S. Sathananthan

Observers attribute the current emergency President Gen Pervez Musharraf declared in Pakistan solely to his alleged “greed for power”, to continue to hold the offices of both President and Chief of Army. Any mono-causal explanation of political events, especially those fuelled by power struggles, is immediately suspect. For they are outcomes of complex interactions of competing social forces.

Equally facile is the assertion that President George W Bush is putting pressure on the “dictator” to save the Pakistani people and usher democracy. But as we know in the world of realpolitik states are guided by interests and not by sentiments. It is naive to believe that President Bush and his administration are shedding tears for the democratic rights of Pakistani masses. Indeed the Bush administration cheerfully continues to bankroll medieval kingdoms and emirates in West Asia. No mention of democracy there. Rather, we must dig deeper; we must look at US interests in Pakistan and the surrounding region to understand Bush’s foreign policy posture.

When Musharraf overthrew the democratically-elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the 1999 coup he stymied Sharif’s ploy to make the Quran the supreme law of the land a la Saudi Arabia and turn Pakistan into an undemocratic Islamic state. Western governments, especially in the US and UK, welcomed the “dictator” with open arms. They embraced him as a comrade-in-arms in the war against Islamic extremism. There was no talk of democracy then. Because both Bush and Tony Blair took it for granted that Musharraf would be their docile ally.

But for Musharraf Pakistan’s national interest comes first. He refused to go along with Bush on Iraq. That was the first fissure.

Now he is refusing to tow Bush’s line and isolate Iran. In fact he is going ahead with building the natural gas pipeline between Iran and Pakistan in the teeth of opposition from the Bush administration. Similarly, he is expanding bi-lateral relations and nuclear cooperation with China against the express wishes of the Bush administration. So he has fallen out of favour in Washington DC (and London).

But they need Musharraf to continue as President in the frontline state in the War on Terror to keep the extremists at bay. But they also need to reduce his power and induce a change in Pakistani foreign policy to the advantage of US and UK.

So, democracy rears its ugly head!

Bush is promoting Benazir Bhutto because she is putty in his hands. If elected Prime Minister, she said, she would offer US intelligence agencies access to Dr A Q Khan and would allow US forces free entry into Pakistan to search for Osama bin Laden. Musharraf has stoutly refused to concede both. If an Indian leader had similarly capitulated to a major foreign power, he or she would have been banished by the country’s political elite. But Pakistan’s immature political elite cannot see the wood for the trees. So Benazir merrily sails along, willing to do Bush’s bidding in return for his administration’s support to occupy the Prime Minister’s seat. She has made it clear to him she will go along with US foreign policy Iraq, Iran and China.

In fact the power sharing Bush talks about between Musharraf and Benazir boils down to Benazir getting control of Pakistan’s foreign policy so that she could obligingly dovetail Pakistan foreign policy with Bush’s foreign policy – which is something Musharraf has steadfastly refused to do.

In this “regime adjustment” the Bush administration has found allies amongst Pakistan’s elite, which is unremittingly feudal. Benazir, for example, comes from a traditional feudal family and married into another traditional feudal family; for her, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) formed by her father is her fiefdom – she is President for Life. Inner-party democracy is the stuff of fiction. It is important to keep in mind that the PPP and Nawaz Sharif’s PML(N) are not the secular modern parties voters are accustomed to in the west.

Feudals in both parties, predictably the judiciary has time and again ruled against Musharraf’s privatisation oppose Musharraf’s reforms tooth and nail. Because his administrative modernisation set up for the first time representative, elected local government institutions (Nazims) and politically empowered the poor; his economic liberalisation (including privatisation) is promoting the growth of the middle class universally recognised as the back bone of liberal democracy. Both hit at their feudal roots. of key economic sectors.

The clerics in the religious coalition – the MMA – resist his educational reforms and promotion of women’s rights since both are undermining the ideological domination of the religious establishment. In the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) the ruling MMA is systematically sabotaging Musharraf’s reforms.

By all accounts Musharraf allowed the highest degree of media freedom ever experienced in the country’s history. This is exposing the average Pakistani to the world outside and to modern values of democracy and individual rights.

Not surprisingly, the PPP, PML and the MMA are ranged against the army led by Musharraf.

It is crucial to keep in mind that he is the first leader who has attempted the modernisation of Pakistani economy and society.

Many prominent lawyers leading the opposition to Musharraf are either members of PPP or are closely connected to it through kinship links. A majority of the lawyers and judges and “liberal” defenders of human rights are part of the feudal elite; the rest share in the feudal values. They feel extremely threatened by Musharraf’s modernisation and are bent on protecting their inherited status and privileges. They are hardly the stuff of independent, modern professionals.

Some of the street support for Benazir on TV is of course party workers. But a lot of it is the poorest of the poor, most of whom are serfs who live a hand to mouth existence on the fiefs of feudals. They are lured in truckloads with the offer of two meals a day, which is a luxury for them.

This is the background to and the essence of the sordid “pro-democracy” movement.

It would be a real pity if American opinion makers and professionals lose sight of this unfolding power struggle between the army led by Musharraf on the one hand and the obscurantist feudal and clerical forces on the other.

If the Pakistani legal establishment and liberals were able to rise above their self-interest they too would support Musharraf, like the liberals in Turkey who backed their modernising army.

++++++++

© Musharraf Supporters 2007 All rights reserved

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Responses

  1. 1. If my information is correct…..B.B. can’t even be prime minister again unless some sort of exception is made-and if this is correct, I don’t see many (if any) people making mention of this. It’s important because until the exception is made, her bidding is futile and makes her look ridiculous…..but also shows her cunning side.

    2. I base this next opinion on research done from within myself……I wouldn’t take so quickly that B.B. would be putty in the U.S. hands. She’s a career politician, and she’s been campaigning for the “west” for some time now…she knows how to get what she wants, but I’m not sure I believe she’ll go through with this idea once (if) in office. She needs the west on her side, because their support (in some eyes) takes focus away from the fact she screwed her country over during her past terms. If you study her speeches given abroad to western audiences, and then those given to her home audiences….she’s a typical waffling politician.

    One thing I will close with. For all the hype that people call Musharraf the lapdog of Bush (or Busharraf I’ve seen)….he pretty much tells Bush to bug off whenever he sees fit. he signed treaties with the northern areas, he’s tested missiles, he’s refused access to Khan, he says when and how he’ll let go of emergency rule as well as his uniform…..to name a few. Is it possible Musharraf really does what HE thinks is best, and not what Bush does???? (btw, catch the sarcasm in that last statement please)

  2. Spot on Wendy!

    Those who mock Musharraf as a ‘puppet’ of the U.S. overlook the fact that on MANY issues Musharraf opposed and dismissed the demands/concerns of the U.S. Besides the issues you mentioned, we can also add to the list Pakistan’s refusal to support the U.S. on Iraq, to contribute soldiers in Iraq, to terminate the gar pipeline deal with Iran and support the U.S. in its wider Iran policy.

    This is no ‘puppet’. Instead, in Musharraf we have a clever leader who knows how to maintain a balance. Frankly, compared to the U.S., Pakistan’s position is weak in every department, be it defence wise or financially. Pakistan is a developing country and cannot stand for long facing a Superpower. Thus, Musharraf realizes the weakness of Pakistan, as a result of which he has no choice but to accept certain U.S. demands, and yet at the same time he also knows when to say ‘no’ and how. Musharraf is an intelligent leader.

    I would only expect someone remarkably stupid to always say ‘no’ to the U.S. and maintain a confrontational policy, seriously believing that angels would come down from the heavens to save Pakistan as soon as the U.S. makes a move against Pakistan. Yes, it will shock you, but this is how many people believe and I’ve met some of them! Pakistan does not require such silly and naive ‘leaders’.

    Even Islamically we are taught to not put our brains aside but to study and analyse a situation and then take the appropriate steps.

    Unfortunately, many in Pakistan tend to think emotionally. There is also an inconsistency to be observed here. While many will unfairly lambast Musharraf for ‘siding’ with the Americans, they do not have any problem with the Americans telling Musharraf to do what Sharif and Bhutto want. Here they will accept with happiness the U.S. involvement in Pakistani affairs. Private channels such as the disgraceful GEO and ARY report with much enthusiasm and approval how the U.S. is telling Pakistan to lift the emergency etc., yet at the same time they also critique Musharraf for ‘siding’ with the Americans on other issues!

  3. It is extremely naive to consider that following the gas pipeline project with Iran, Pakistan has an independant foreign policy. Just to put the facts, the pipeline project is being awarded to an American contract company. I dont understand the hype being created by Pakistan about the pipeline project, it is less than peanuts and Americans dont feel in evening giving it any attention.

    West, America and Britian never welcomed Musharraf against Nawaz Sharif. Rather, one of te reasons Musharraf gave against Nawaz was that Nawaz was softening and disengaging its support for the Taliban. Imagine if Nawaz’s pre 9/11 policy had been implemented; Pakistan would have had lot lesser Western Bashing.

    You need to read the Clinton’s address to Pakistanis on his visit to Pakistan. Musharraf was only welcomed post-9/11.

    I couldnt complete the article simply becuase it so naive and distorted with facts.

  4. Assalam Alaikum ‘Last chance’ and thank you for your comments.

    Apologies for the late reply.

    1. It is not just the gas pipeline which was mentioned by the authors. They also refer to Pakistan’s refusal to accept the American Iraq policy and the cooperation with China. Moreover, consider also Pakistan’s refusal to allow access to A.Q Khan, refusal to allow American forces within Pakistan, and the pursuing of treaties and dialogues with parties despite facing stiff American opposition. So, it is not true to say that Pakistan, under Musharraf, always follows the American line. Nonetheless, given the fact that we are simply much weaker in everyway when compared to a Superpower such as America, there are times when a leader needs to grudgingly accept certain demands. God does not tell you to put your brains aside. Instead, it is good to be wise, to be intelligent, to assess your situation, make plans, and act cautiously taking into account your strengths and weaknesses.

    You do not provide a source for your claim that project is being awarded to an American company. I doubt the factuality of this claim of yours since American law bars American companies from doing business with Iran. America’s purpose is to have Iran isolated, hence her strong opposition to the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project. Nonetheless, let us suppose for arguments sake that you are right; it does not follow that Pakistan does not have a largely independent foreign policy. You also do not explain what you meant by the statement that this pipeline project is “less than peanuts?” How so? It is a significant multi-billion dollar project, which is estimated to earn Pakistan around $500 million in royalties alone. As far as I can tell, according to almost all experts, this deal is likely to greatly benefit Pakistan over the long-term. Your next assertion that the “Americans dont feel in evening giving it any attention” is just plain and simple false. Within seconds, I stumbled across numerous American objections to this project. They are concerned about it. See this for instance.

    2. It is true that initially the Western nations opposed President Musharraf. But, as you know, things changed considerably after 9/11, when Musharraf was under pressure and took the most commonsensical course of action. You are, however, quite wrong in asserting that Nawaz Sharif was ‘disengaging’ his support for the Taliban. I don’t recall this ever taking place. If anything, the ties between Sharif and the Taliban were growing stronger and stronger. If Sharif’s pre-9/11 policies had continued, today Pakistan would probably have been a despotic Taliban like state.

    3. No evidence has been presented by you in support of your assertions that the article is ‘naïve’ and ‘distorted’ facts. Just to label something ‘naïve’ and ‘distorted’ does not make it ‘naïve’ and ‘distorted’. You need to submit reasons and arguments to back your assertions. Unfortunately, you appear to be in no mood to do so.

    Regards and best wishes.

  5. I will deal with each point that you mention separately, as a vague statement like ‘pursuing of treaties and dialogues with parties despite facing stiff American opposition’ dont hold any ground.

    1- As far as Iraq policy is concerned, Turkey refused cooperation similar to Pakistan’s co-operation in Afghanistan despite a USD 30Billion Aid Package. Pakistan Army was ready to send its troops and requisitions had been made for the troops. It was only due to the stiff resistance of from all muslim and Western Countries. Threat of isolation of Pakistan with other Muslim Countries has been the actual driving force. Iraq Policy of Saudia Arabia and other key US Allies has also been very independant. So, it had less to do with Musharraf’s resistance to the US Policy. I seriously believe that our Iraq Policy although independant has been a faliure like France and Germany.

    2- Our American masters understand Musharraf’s position, that Musharraf needs some face saving to hold credibility. Refusal to AQ Khan access has also got to do with the skeletons in GHQ. Exporting Nuclear material is impossible without involvement of ISI, MI and other Agencies. The Generals within these Agencies are Musharraf’s only power. Exposing them can prove to be suicide for Musharraf and he’s smart to understand that.

    3- As far as the pipeline is concerned, India (with US influence) is already out of the deal. This simply squeezes the juice out of the project. The pipeline project with Iran and Pakistan as only the parties means ‘peanuts’. The project is only encouraging if India is part of it.

    4- I would recommend you to read or listen to Musharraf’s Address right after Oct ’99. He clearly stated that one of the reason was that the Nawaz administration was trying to disengage itself with the Taliban policy. My source is Musharraf’s address right after Oct 99.

    5- I labelled the article niave and distorted simply because of the ignorance of the stiff opposition to Musharraf from the Clinton adminsitration. The article states

    ‘Western governments, especially in the US and UK, welcomed the “dictator” with open arms.’

    Using the post 9/11 policy and support to Musharraf and state that his coup was welcomed is actually a disortion of facts. Again, I would request to check the response from the Clinton administration and the Clinton’s visit to Pakistan after the coup. He went on the state television and humiliated Musharraf. To add another fact, his visit to Pakistan was only made possible after the Saudi’s intervened and persuaded the Clinton Administration.

    Again, I find it naive when critics are unable to differentiate the line followed by Clinton and by Bush.

  6. Assalam Alaikum and thank you for your comments ‘Last chance’.

    I too will reply to your points separately:

    1. When I made the comment of, “pursuing of treaties and dialogues with parties despite facing stiff American opposition,” I thought you would have likely known what I was getting at. Perhaps I should have been clearer. I was alluding to the talks pursued by the government with the local tribes in the Waziristan area a while ago, which was viewed very negatively by the U.S. You did not explain why it did not “hold any ground.” As I noted before, one needs to offer reasons and arguments and not just make declarations.

    2. You acknowledge that Pakistan resisted U.S. pressure on Iraq and followed its independent policy but you attempt to belittle this. You give no proof/reference for your assertion that the Pakistani army was allegedly ‘ready’ to be sent to Iraq, that “requisitions had been made for the troops,” and that Pakistan merely refused to follow the U.S. Iraqi line because of fear of getting isolated. Unless you have ‘insider’ information, I have yet to see any proof for it. Pakistan, like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and many other nations, followed its independent policy and brushed aside the U.S. pressure. You grudgingly acknowledge Pakistan’s independent stance, but seek ways to minimise it by introducing speculations and innuendos as the ‘real’ reasons and motives behind it. It is as if you desire Pakistan to have said ‘no’, but purely for the reasons you imagine.

    Once again, let us suppose that you are correct in your claim that Pakistan did not support the U.S. on Iraq because: “It was only due to the stiff resistance of from all muslim and Western Countries. Threat of isolation of Pakistan with other Muslim Countries has been the actual driving force.” So you agree that Musharraf took the right course of action and made a wise decision by not taking the risk of isolating Pakistan from other Muslim nations, right?

    You wrote: “I seriously believe that our Iraq Policy although independant has been a faliure like France and Germany.” What does this mean? How could one have in place a ‘successful’ Iraq policy? Do elaborate.

    3. Once again you introduce innuendos to explain why access to A.Q. Khan was not granted to outsiders. Let us suppose you are 100% correct in your claim: that this was because Musharraf wanted to save the ISI, MI, and “other agencies” and the generals. Well, I wonder, wasn’t this the right policy and course of action to follow PRECISELY DUE TO THESE VERY REASONS? Why is this ‘wrong’? Or would you have been happy had Musharraf allowed access to A.Q. Khan and thereby jeopardised the army and the other agencies, thus significantly compromising Pakistan’s national security? Was Musharraf right or wrong to keep A.Q Khan away from the reaches of the U.S. and the I.A.E.A etc? Commonsense tells us he did the right thing and the reasons you proffer merely adds to the legitimacy of his decision. So I really don’t understand your ‘objection’ here. The same reasons you submit also show how eager the U.S. would have been to gain access to A.Q. Khan. It seems to me that you again wish to belittle the right course of action taken by Musharraf. I get the impression that we are in a catch 22 situation: you would have raised many objections if A.Q. Khan was handed over for investigation (one probable objection being: that the army, ISI etc., were put in harms way), and you would still raise objections if A.Q. Khan was not handed over (attributing selfish motives/reasons to Musharraf). You would have complained no matter what the course of action. Nothing would have satisfied you.

    You wrote that “Exposing them can prove to be suicide for Musharraf…” No, it would have proved suicidal for the security of the whole of Pakistan and not just one individual. Therefore, to use your own words (with some changes), Musharraf was smart to understand this and adopted the most sensible course of action for Pakistan’s sake.

    4. I still do not find convincing your ‘peanut’ categorization of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. You do not explain how the project is reduced to the status of ‘peanut’ with the exclusion of India. Moreover, you do not seem to realize, but you just managed to contradict your earlier assertion. Initially you had insisted that the project was so worthless that even the U.S. was not much concerned about it. To quote you: “…Americans dont feel in evening giving it any attention.” But now you assert that India decided to withdraw from the project precisely due to U.S. ‘influence’. So, the U.S. did give it a lot of attention, which means you were wrong. Now, how the project reduces to ‘peanut’ with India out of the picture has not been explained. From what I can tell, all experts and observers seem to agree that this project, with or without India, is of immense benefit to Pakistan. I get the impression that you do not wish to accept the reality of the significance and importance of the project simply due to your hatred for Musharraf, which is too intense for you to see things the way they really are. Hence the belittling attempts on your part.

    In light of the above discussion, your “American masters” gibe does not work. It fits both Bhutto and Sharif like a glove, but not Musharraf, who has maintained a remarkable balance and independence in forming Pakistan’s policy.

    5. I will request you to share with us the exact statement by Musharraf where he says precisely this: that one of the reasons why N. Sharif was removed was because he was trying to ‘disengage’ with the “Taliban policy.” I just find this to be a very incredible statement and would like to see some evidence in its support.

    6. Even if you are right and the authors made a mistake when they said, “Western governments, especially in the US and UK, welcomed the “dictator” with open arms”, that does not render the entire article ‘naive’. At most, only these specific lines would constitute naivety and distortion. Having said this, I think that the particular paragraph in which these lines occur could have been better written by the authors and they probably made a slip of the pen in this instance. If we read the lines in context, I think they did not mean to suggest that the Clinton administration gave a welcome reception to Musharraf. Here is the full paragraph:

    “When Musharraf overthrew the democratically-elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the 1999 coup he stymied Sharif’s ploy to make the Quran the supreme law of the land a la Saudi Arabia and turn Pakistan into an undemocratic Islamic state. Western governments, especially in the US and UK, welcomed the “dictator” with open arms. They embraced him as a comrade-in-arms in the war against Islamic extremism. There was no talk of democracy then. Because both Bush and Tony Blair took it for granted that Musharraf would be their docile ally.”

    When they say, “They embraced him as a comrade-in-arms” and onwards, they obviously have the Bush administration in mind and the post 9/11 scenario, as we can infer from the rest of the lines. So you should give the authors the benefit of the doubt since they likely did not mean to say that the Clinton administration welcomed Musharraf.

  7. I agree. A.Q Khan was just a scapegoat, the Nuclear Proliferation goes deep into ISI and the military establishment.

    I agree that its a naive appraoch to confuse Musharraf coup with the Post-9/11 scenario.

  8. 1- The Treaty was never completed, it was simply restricted to a few tribal belts. The mastermind for this treaty and a change in tactis was by the Governor of N.W.F.P. The army agreed to the treaty on a lower footing; the army was trapped without any strategic planning. You just need to see what happened to the treaty. It was never enforced to the complete tribal belt and was finished on US pressure.

    The treaty was just for the army to buy some time and re-establish itself.

  9. We just need to look at our current global position.

    Pakistan is considered a very unstable region armed with Nukes. This is all thanks to Mushi.

    Pentagon is already devising contingency plans for a doomsday scenario.

    Nukes getting into the hands of extremists is actually very unlikely, but I see pressure of disarment coming pretty soon.

  10. Indians got a comprehensive Nuclear deal with the US for abandoning the pipeline project. They got their piece of cake.

    The Nuclear cooperation doesnt only give the Indian thousands of Nukes but also caters for its growing energy requirements. Obvisiously, one would prefer Nukes and Nuclear Power Plants over a gas pipeline.

  11. Thank you for your comments “Restore Democracy.” I’ll reply to all of your points here. Your comments will be in italics followed by my reply in normal text:

    1.

    “I agree. A.Q Khan was just a scapegoat, the Nuclear Proliferation goes deep into ISI and the military establishment.”

    So this was the RIGHT course of action taken by Musharraf PRECISELY FOR THESE VERY REASONS, right? Or is the above an ‘objection’ from you? Please do elaborate.

    Assuming you are right and that the I.S.I. and the military establishment were involved deeply in the saga, then Musharraf acted wisely by keeping A.Q. Khan away from the Americans and other outsiders and in steering the army and the I.S.I. away from getting embroiled into a mess which would have undoubtedly had adverse consequences upon the defence of Pakistan.

    So, are we in agreement here?

    2.

    “I agree that its a naive appraoch to confuse Musharraf coup with the Post-9/11 scenario.”

    I agree with this; although I had also submitted a reasonable explanation, to which you did not reply.

    3.

    “The Treaty was never completed, it was simply restricted to a few tribal belts. The mastermind for this treaty and a change in tactis was by the Governor of N.W.F.P. The army agreed to the treaty on a lower footing; the army was trapped without any strategic planning. You just need to see what happened to the treaty. It was never enforced to the complete tribal belt and was finished on US pressure.”

    First, I did not suggest that the treaty was ‘completed’ or otherwise. That is irrelevant. The basic point was that it was pursued despite heavy U.S. criticism/pressure.

    Second, so what if it was ‘masterminded’ by the Governor of N.W.F.P., who supposedly suggested a change of tactics? So what? Was this ‘bad’? It clearly had blessings from the government, headed by Musharraf, with his heavy involvement in the entire process and its vigorous defence despite stiff U.S. opposition. You are just introducing semantics in order to one way or another avoid giving credit to Musharraf.

    Third, what does it mean that the army agreed to the treaty on a “lower footing?” Elaborate. You then wrote that “the army was trapped without any strategic planning.” How? What does this mean? Once again I notice nothing but semantics here.

    Fourth, you wrote:

    “You just need to see what happened to the treaty. It was never enforced to the complete tribal belt and was finished on US pressure.”

    But it was NOT ‘finished’ on account of “US pressure.” Yes I realize that you WISH that this was the reason behind its ending, but let us not mix reality with wishful thinking. The reason why the treaty did not last was its violation by the militant elements in the region. So please do not try to rewrite history.

    And so what if the treaty was “never enforced to the complete tribal belt?” It was pursued in regions and with groups where it was required.

    Notice also the unreasonable nature of your argument. You are eager to give credit for pursuing the treaty and “change of tactics” to the Governor of the N.W.F.P., by excluding Musharraf from the picture. Yet, at the same time, you are equally eager to blame Musharraf for its failing, not having anything negative to say about the Governor. You want Musharraf to have ended the treaty due to “American pressure” though you acknowledge that the talks were pursued DESPITE American pressure – though here you bring in the N.W.F.P. governor and exclude Musharraf!

    You wrote:

    “The treaty was just for the army to buy some time and re-establish itself.”

    No proof, no evidence; just make a statement and it becomes true. Not impressive.

    To correct you, the treaty was pursued with sincerity by the government, headed by Musharraf. But it did not work since the militants and the extremists showed their true colours by violating the agreement.

    4.

    “We just need to look at our current global position.

    Pakistan is considered a very unstable region armed with Nukes. This is all thanks to Mushi.”

    Wrong again. Your comment merely borders on the absurd. If any instability is to be observed, it is primarily on account of extremism and terrorism within Pakistan, which has had many Westerners scared. This is because they think that an extremist religious regime might take over Pakistan and get their hands on our nukes. Since you mentioned the “current global position”, then you should know that terrorism and extremism are the primary cause of uncertainty and mayhem at the global stage.

    If anything, Musharraf has been responsible for making Pakistan as stable as it is and in imrpoving/strengthening her defences. Musharraf is the first Pakistani leader to have openly opposed terrorists and extremists within Pakistan. Naturally, it is understandable why the later are reacting in this way. God forbid if BB and NS were in power, they would probably have given a blind eye to these factors of instability and would have caused Pakistan to become even more unstable.

    “Pentagon is already devising contingency plans for a doomsday scenario.”

    So what? They have been doing it for a long time. Does this not make it even more paramount for us to fight terrorism and extremism?

    “Nukes getting into the hands of extremists is actually very unlikely, but I see pressure of disarment coming pretty soon.”

    It would have been very likely if BB or NS were in power. But, thank God for Musharraf, so that even you can say that it is VERY UNLIKELY that extremists would get their hands on the nukes. As for your prophecy of “pressure of disarment,” I really have no idea where you pulled this one from.

    5.

    “Indians got a comprehensive Nuclear deal with the US for abandoning the pipeline project. They got their piece of cake.”

    Where is your proof that the Indians got the nuclear deal because of abandoning the pipeline project? But even if you are right, I ask: so what? Assuming it is true that the Indians got their “very comprehensive” nuclear deal with the U.S. for ‘abandoning’ the gas pipeline project, that does not constitute a ‘response’ to anything I specifically said. Moreover, it seems you are unaware of the tremendous opposition to the India-U.S. nuclear deal within India.

    “The Nuclear cooperation doesnt only give the Indian thousands of Nukes but also caters for its growing energy requirements. Obvisiously, one would prefer Nukes and Nuclear Power Plants over a gas pipeline.”

    As far as I can tell, it does NOT give the Indians “thousands of nukes.” You just made that up, didn’t you?

    Secondly, your attempts to minimise the significance of the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline deal is just not working. I am sorry. From what I have read, the pipeline agreement would meet Pakistan’s energy requirements as well as save and earn Pakistan hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties alone. By all means this is a significant deal, which will greatly boost Pakistan’s current growing and booming economy. A nuclear deal would also, no doubt, also be good, but that does nothing to minimise the significance of the gas pipeline project.

    Finally, my main point remains: I was arguing originally that Musharraf has/had taken actions and pursued policies which were/are staunchly opposed by the U.S. In this regard I submitted the examples of A.Q. Khan, gas pipeline deal, talks with tribes, among others etc. The most you, and others, did was to try to minimise their significance, or to make attempts to avoid giving credit to Musharraf, but without success.


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