On first glance, if you believe what Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and the America Mainstream News Media are stating regard the situation in Pakistan - you are receiving far less than the picture as a whole. As I stated in a previous article - The United States bears some, if not much of the responsibility of Pakistan’s woes that are currently handled via a state of emergency and martial law as declared by President Pervez Musharraf. (IMHO) Whether or not the call to suspend Pakistan’s Constitution and declare Martial law was to circumvent a probable ruling by Pakistan’s Supreme Court in reference to President Pervez Musharraf’s eligibility to retain the Presidency remains to be seen, as there are many variables not being reported by America’s MSM. In a prior article, I made note of this, which is also somewhat substantiated in the link that accompanies the post:
We as a nation are watching the country of Pakistan, a primary ally of the United States, in a state of emergency and now under martial law. This, in my opinion, is a condition that the United States, through thoughtful deployment of our armed forces could have helped to avoid - yet when we had the chance to completely decimate the Taliban and Al Qaeda, your Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, answering to you and Vice-President Dick Cheney - allowed both of the above terrorist entities to escape from Tora Bora by allowing the Afghanistan Military, as ill-trained as they were, to conduct the final mop-up of the remaining insurgents in Afghanistan and the Central Commands refusal to commit the necessary troops to finalize the destruction of Taliban and Al Qaeda elements, which allowed many of them to escape into the northern tribal areas of Pakistan and again become a threat to US interests, Pakistan itself, and now the fight in Afghanistan is almost as fierce as it was when we first began. LINK (Make sure and follow the link in regard Tora Bora to see Wikopedia’s definition/assessment of the Battle of Tora Bora.)
To understand the situation as a whole, we must first understand the dynamics that are involved in Pakistan’s internal politics, their past, and apparently - President Musharraf’s belief that he could play both ends against the middle and come out unscathed. The Bush’s administration allowing Taliban and Al Qaeda elements to escape into Pakistan and to create a stronghold in the northern tribal areas complicated the situation - but even before that, the relationship between Islamic extremists, Pakistan’s view on Afghanistan and the ongoing lawlessness in the northern tribal areas is a story itself, and the complexities of Pakistan’s internal politics are extremely complicated and not necessarily common-knowledge as we attempt to evaluate the situation. I found an article written in April of 2007 that is extremely insightful into the dynamics of Pakistan, and while it’s a fairly comprehensive situation and the history is lengthy, because of copyright restrictions I am unable to republish more than three paragraphs - however, if you truly want to understand how complex this situation is, a full read of the original piece is a must; it was written by Ziauddin Sardar, and his credentials are impressive:
Ziauddin Sardar, writer and broadcaster, describes himself as a ‘critical polymath’. He is the author of over 40 books, including the highly acclaimed ‘Desperately Seeking Paradise’. He is Visiting Professor, School of Arts, the City University, London and editor of ‘Futures’, the monthly journal of planning, policy and futures studies. LINK- Advertisement -
FYI, this is only one opinion of many that exist, but this one is substantiated with links, extremely comprehensive, and paints a picture we as Americans have never fully understood and been apprised of in anything that was widely disseminated:
Pakistan: The Taliban takeover
Ziauddin Sardar- Advertisement -
Published 30 April 2007 (Excerpts.)
Pakistan is reverberating with the call of jihad. For more than two months, the capital, Islamabad, has been held hostage by a group of burqa-clad women, armed with sticks and shouting: “Al-jihad, al-jihad.” These female students belong to two madrasas attached to the Lal Masjid, a large mosque near one of the city’s main supermarkets. I found the atmosphere around the masjid tense, with heavily armed police surrounding the building. Though the students were allowed to go in and out freely, no one else could enter the mosque. The women are demanding the imposition of sharia law and the instant abolition of all “dens of vice”. Away from the masjid, Islamabad looked like a city under siege.
A new generation of militants is emerging in Pakistan. Although they are generally referred to as “Taliban”, they are a recent phenomenon. The original Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan briefly during the 1990s, were Afghan fighters, a product of the Soviet invasion of their country. They were created and moulded by the Pakistani army, with the active support of the United States and Saudi money, and the deliberate use of madrasas to prop up religious leaders. Many Taliban leaders were educated at Haqqania by Maulana Sami ul-Haq. The new generation of militants are all Pakistani; they emerged after the US invasion of Afghanistan and represent a revolt against the government’s support for the US. Mostly unemployed, not all of them are madrasa-educated. They are led by young mullahs who, unlike the original Taliban, are technology- and media-savvy, and are also influenced by various indigenous tribal nationalisms, honouring the tribal codes that govern social life in Pakistan’s rural areas. “They are Taliban in the sense that they share the same ideology as the Taliban in Afghanistan,” says Rahimullah Yusufzai, Peshawar-based columnist on the News. “But they are totally Pakistani, with a better understanding of how the world works.” Their jihad is aimed not just at “infidels occupying Afghanistan”, but also the “infidels” who are ruling and running Pakistan and maintaining the secular values of Pakistani society. “They aim at nothing less than to cleanse Pakistan and turn it into a pure Islamic state,” says Rashed Rahman, executive editor of the Lahore-based Post newspaper.
The Pakistani Taliban now dominates the northern province of Waziristan, adjacent to Afghan istan. “They are de facto rulers of the province,” says Yusufzai. Waziristan is a tribal area that has historically been ruled by the tribes themselves. Pakistan has followed the policy of British Raj in the region. The British allowed tribal leaders, known as maliks, semi-autonomous powers in exchange for loyalty to the crown. Pakistan gives them the same power but demands loyalty to the federal government. They have been sidelined by the Taliban, however. Pro-government maliks who resisted the onslaught of the Taliban have been brutally killed and had their bodies hung from poles as a lesson to others. The Taliban have declared Waziristan an “Islamic emirate” and are trying to establish a parallel administration, complete with sharia courts and tax system. MUCH MORE
The above article is extremely enlightening in regard the situation as it is unfolding - but keep in mind this reference material was published in April 2007 and the situation is even more fluid, and much more of the population has become radicalized. CNN appears to be attempting to over-simplify the matter, as indicated in this recent story:
Pakistan crisis: ‘It ain’t easy’ for U.S.- Advertisement -
* U.S. official: “We are looking at our options, and none of them are good”
* Washington weighs how to respond to Gen. Pervez Musharraf
* U.S. officials say any response will boil down to one thing: al Qaeda
By Elise Labott
Editor’s note: In our Behind the Scenes series, CNN correspondents and producers share their experiences in covering news and analyze the stories behind the events. Here, producer Elise Labott, who covers the State Department, offers insights into U.S. options in dealing with Pakistan.