Conscious Flow Radio

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Blood on Musharraf's Hands

Who benefits from the murder of Benazir Bhutto? Bhutto herself told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that if she were assassinated she would hold Pervez Musharraf "responsible". Certainly, the prospects for elections are dead. Pakistan will remain stuck with Musharraf and his de facto military dictatorship. Bush's ally still wields dictatorial powers. The big winners: Bush and Musharraf, for different reasons.

Last month President Bush told Gen. Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan that he must be more aggressive in hunting down al-Qaeda and the Taliban along his country's border with Afghanistan. During his recent visit to Islamabad, Vice President Cheney echoed the claim that al-Qaeda members were training in Pakistan's tribal areas and called on Musharraf to shut down their operations. British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett also expressed concern recently about suspected terrorist safe havens.
Clearly, the pressure is on. Western leaders are finally beginning to recognize that Musharraf's regime has been unsuccessful in taming the Taliban, which has regrouped in the tribal areas of Pakistan while the military regime has given up trying to establish order on the Afghan border. At the same time, the regime has strategically chosen to help the United States when international criticism of the terrorists' presence becomes strident. The arrest of Mullah Obaidullah Akhund, a top Taliban strategist, by Pakistani authorities late last month is a case in point. The timing, right on the heels of American and British pleas for renewed toughness, is too convenient. Akhund was arrested solely to keep Western governments at bay.
--A False Choice for Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, Monday, Washington Post, March 12, 2007