Pakistanis are worried about their country’s image…

April 28, 2009 at 4:55 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Unfortunately, they’re worrying about the wrong thing.

In Islamabad, fabric seller Akhlaq Abbas scoffs at a young Pakistani’s dire predictions. “Pakistan is not a failed state,” the 61-year-old says. Sure, it has problems, although he doesn’t think that’s accidental. “Groups of people from abroad are working to destabilize Pakistan,” he said. “Outsiders — from India, Israel, America and Britain — are meddling. They send drones over our heads and kill people. Our troubles happen because outside forces want to hold Pakistan back.” (Notice that he fails to mention Al Qaeda,the Taliban, or Afghanistan).

It’s always someone else’s fault. That’s a fundamental ingredient of denial. Mr. Abbas’ apathy is probably the biggest reason that Pakistan is on the precipice of becoming a failed state, just like Somalia. Pakistan, a nation which was formed by Muslims who refused to co-exist with Hindus and other infidels in India after the withdrawal of the British in 1947, is a strange melting pot of middle class, moderate muslims and poor fundamentalists who are symapthetic to if not part of the Taliban. This latter group invariably blames “outsiders” for its plight and finds the xenophobic, repressive philosophy of the Taliban appealing. As long as the middle class of Pakistan keeps its collective head in the sand, the more likely it is that the Taliban will continue to gain ground there and drive out the essential components of its infrastructure, i.e. doctors, lawyers and teachers. This is what happened in Iraq at the height of the insurgency. Once this draining process starts, it tends to snowball and it is very difficult to turn around.

There are those who say with great, self-satisfied confidence that Pakistan is in no danger of breaking apart or being over-run by the Taliban. To me, this sounds like famous last words. There appears to be a general lack of alarm and business-as-usual in Pakistan these days, much like there was in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. This country needs to wake up and stop using its feud with India as an excuse to concentrate too much of its army along that border. Pakistan needs to roll its army through its northwest provinces, outlaw the Taliban, and take absolute control of its border with Afghanistan. Anything short of that is only going to delay the inevitable.

Instead of worrying about their country’s image and international reputation, Pakistanis need to start worrying about the kind of world their children, especially their daughters, are going to grow up in.



  1. JollyRoger said,

    The Taliban is a US/Saudi creation, educated by Muslim Brotherhood terrorist fugitives and armed by us, to get back at those dirty Commies for forcing us out of Vietnam.

    We took people who have long wanted a Pashtunistan that would cover most of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and we melded into them the Muslim Brotherhood notion of a caliphate stretching across the Islamic world. And now, we’re paying the price for yet another of Saint Ronnie’s brilliant ideas.

  2. johnrj08 said,

    The Taliban is definitely Wahhabist/Sunni, so its roots have their connections to Saudi Arabia. However, the first Taliban military action didn’t even occur until 1994, six years after Reagan left office. Afghanistan has a long history of territorial warlords battling for power. The Soviet invasion simply provided the catalyst for a unifyiing Muslim rebellion. The ISI was more responsible for recruiting outsiders to join the fight than anyone else. Mullah Omar and his group of madrassah teachers were among the earliest fighters. They are the ones who formulated the harsh form of Sharia law that the Taliban is continuing to spread. The initial formation of the Taliban was as much a reaction to the rampant corruption and crime in Afghanistan prior to the Soviet presence as it was religiously motivated. Because of its shared Sunni composition, the Taliban was willing to “host” Osama Bin Laden there during the 1990’s and let him operate his Al Qaeda training camps. I think the bottom line is that there has been no “right way” to handle the Taliban over the last 15 years. It is a writhing mass of religious fanaticism that has evolved into a fascist movement which has little to do with Quranic doctrine. It’s probably the best example of mass xenophobia in the history of the planet.

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