Pakistan practically an enemy state
by Salim Mansur
Last week I wrote Pakistan is the centre of the global-jihad complex and, in effect, is practically an enemy state at war with the West and its democratic allies, India and Israel.
For reasons of diplomacy western officials are loathe to characterize Pakistan as an adversary.
The big question, and no one in the western capitals has yet an answer for it, is how to deal with a rogue state possessing nuclear weapons that colludes with jihadis and provides sanctuary to those who have openly declared war against the West?
This question is also being asked inside Pakistan by those who are sane enough to recognize how perilous the fate of their country has become due to the reckless, if not criminal, conduct of their political-military elite.
Pakistan's leading English-language newspaper, Dawn, in one of its recent editorials, warned: "If the discovery of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad wasn't embarrassing enough, there is now even more reason for Pakistan to take a long, hard look at its record against terrorism."
This record is dismal, and many intrepid Pakistani journalists have paid with their lives — as did Syed Saleem Shahzad of Asia Times who was kidnapped, tortured and killed last May — in reporting this sordid reality.
In Azaz Syed's report for Dawn, more information about Bin Laden has surfaced through one of his widows, Amal Ahmed Abdulfattah, who agreed to speak to officials on record.
Bin Laden was living in Pakistan in relative comfort, according to Amal, moving from one safe house to another in different cities with his three wives and children before settling down in the military town of Abbottabad.
Amal had five children from Bin Laden, and four of them were born in government hospitals in Pakistan. This could not have occurred without the knowledge of Pakistani authorities.
Bin Laden crossed into Pakistan in 2002. For nearly a decade Pakistani authorities denied his whereabouts, spoke about him as someone dead, and all the while they were engaged in a sort of "witness protection" plan to keep him safe from demands to locate and hand him over to the Americans.
But how has Pakistan got away with such brazenly duplicitous behaviour without severe penalty?
This is a long, complex and ugly story of how the West, and in particular the U.S., has sullied its own liberal democratic values abroad and at home by making false friends for some higher principle, such as opposing communism during the Cold War years.
Apart from its location at a strategic crossroad of global politics, Pakistan has nothing of any value to offer the world.
Whatever little it manufactures, such as textiles, can be bought elsewhere, and as a dysfunctional society it has impoverished its people and abandoned them to the false litany of grievances against others that fuel Islamism and the politics of jihad.
Yet Pakistan has practically stalemated the West, while making its living through jihadi blackmail as a nuclear weapon state. If Pakistan had oil, then what?
"Then what" would be a nightmare and it is close to turning real when Iran acquires nuclear weapons, while the West agonizes like Hamlet on the merits of taking "arms over a sea of troubles."