Have you given up on Pakistan ?

rawalpindiPakistani militancy may be spreading throughout the country- not just the border region – according to this article. This is what’s happened there in the last week :

*12 October: 41 killed in bombing in Alpurai*10-11 October: 19 killed in raid on army HQ, Rawalpindi * 9 October: 49 killed in bombing in Peshawar* 5 October: Five killed in suicide blast in UN’s Islamabad office.

rawalpindi policeA round-up from the Pakistani press and blogosphere here.

And here’s a piece about the effects of the latest U.S aid package – and what you said about it here.

But a poll in the country says most Pakistanis reject  the idea of the U.S being a partner against militancy.

56 Responses to “Have you given up on Pakistan ?”

  1. 1 nora
    October 13, 2009 at 15:22

    Nixon and Kissinger called Pakistan “the back door to China” and dealt with brutal dictators to get what they wanted. Bush 41 made a big deal of knowing who Musharef was in a TV debate to make sure he could handle international affairs, that we knew who we would do business with. No real appreciation of Pakistan as a land full of people, but rather as a chess piece in geopolitics. Of course they don’t trust us.

  2. 2 Tom K in Mpls
    October 13, 2009 at 15:31

    Thinking we have the luxury of giving up on Pakistan is naive. Pakistan’s neighbors can not afford to let a nuclear neighbor be taken over by a group that kills to grow. Knowing that they will always spread as they can, by any means, no nation can afford to ignore this. This is why Afghanistan is so important. Afghanistan is where the attack on Pakistan is coming from and what Pakistan will become without help.

  3. 3 Chintan in Houston
    October 13, 2009 at 15:32

    We can’t give up on Pakistan prematurely. I do understand the unrest among Pakistani population with the aid given by the USA and their implications on their military. That aid will limit their ability to concentrate on the border with India. Also the drone attacks are definitely an attack on their sovereignty.
    With the increase of troop surge several officials of the white house have discussed and agree that Taliban or Al-Qaeda cannot be completely dismantled but they can be reduced/marginalized to a form a group that is also involved in the socio-economic partnership with the local population like Hezbollah in Lebanon. We might not completely agree with the way they work but they do offer some stability to the war torn region.
    I vote for direct aid to the Pakistani army instead of troop surge, I think a local can get things done better than a foreign national in a soldiers uniform that is NOT wearing a blue hat that says UN cause they give an appearance of an occupier.

  4. 4 Colin Sundaram
    October 13, 2009 at 15:39

    13. 10. 09

    Dear Ros,

    Pakistan is the only hope for humainity. Believe me it is a gift from the God Almighty for humanity. Without Pakistan this world would have been a place without any productive activity. Look at the numbers in growth of human population after it has been hived off from the Hindu India. It itself shows how promising is that land of fidels when the other side of the border is decaying with a five thousand year old caste system of the infidles! Long live Pakistan and its achievements.

    • 5 Peter
      October 13, 2009 at 19:36

      Ok NATO , job done . You can pull out now. Think of the money saved. If the Taliban sized power in Pakistan . That will be India and israel’s problems.

  5. 6 Gary Paudler
    October 13, 2009 at 15:48

    It might not be a good idea to give up on a politically unstable, militantly theocratical,
    nuclear-armed country – in response to revelations of, not just development of the nuclear bomb but the sale of nuclear technology to other countries, the US government said to Pakistan something like “Yeah, yeah, whatever”. I would like for our governments to explain to us the realpolitik exigencies, not some melodramatic “taking the fight to the evildoers” baloney and, in exchange for the billions of dollars and other support that we’ve provided to Pakistan, insist on real, honest cooperation. If there is to be any hope of stability and human rights there will have to be more than only military engagement. As always, there are billions of dollars available for the military but precious little to improve the lives of the people. If we provided everybody in Pakistan a meal and a shower every day, they would be our most steadfast friends.

  6. 7 gary
    October 13, 2009 at 15:53

    Pakistan is not mine to forsake. However, since you brought it up, I believe Pakistan is the perfect example of the need for more generalized political participation. I suspect the vast majority are uncomfortable with the military, the government, and with the Taliban. They must realize only they own the choice to accept enforced change, or to demand changes that are acceptable. To have what it desires – a sovereign country with respect for itself – the majority must understand that such dominion and respect have a cost, and as a group, they must be willing to foot the bill. Only they know the value of their self-respect.

  7. October 13, 2009 at 15:57

    Who is the question aimed at ? The U.N., The U.S., The listner (Or reader in this case) ?

  8. October 13, 2009 at 15:58

    I will not give up,as you put it,on Pakistan,at least,not until the majority become Taliban supporters,if ever. But the west;cannot afford to give up on Pakistan. I would be afraid if Taliban ever got near the nuclear weapons,then Pakistan and government might cease to exsist.

  9. 10 Wajid Khan
    October 13, 2009 at 16:02

    No one appreciates the hard work Pakistan is doing in the so called war against terror. They are doing it with very little help from outside and within their very limited resources.

    Could anyone please tell us what is the contribution of the world against this war on terror.? Compare it with Pakistan and you will be amazed how much we have contributed.

    If you cannot help us militarily or monetary then at least Stop raising doubts about Pakistan and start supporting them.

    Also, please look at the NATO lead forces in Afghanistan. What have they achieved in 8 years there?????. Tell me at least one thing please. ????

    Pakistan is facing all this because we are supporting the world in this war. Look at the pre 9/11 Pakistan and find me a single suicide bomb blast or any other major blast since the U.S.S.R pulled out from Afghanistan.

    Pakistan has paid a very very heavy price for the west’s war in Afganistan.

  10. 11 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    October 13, 2009 at 16:09

    If the world–not just the USA–“gives up on Pakistan” it opens the door to more 9/11’s, 7/7’s, Bali’s, Madrid’s and so on down the lengthening list. Until the religious fanatics in both Afghanistan and Pakistan are stopped, no one who does not adhere to their particular religious dogma–no one, anywhere!–is safe.

  11. 12 paul8222
    October 13, 2009 at 16:19

    Had not heard the Kissinger/Nixon description before but it is very true.
    The fact that within a week the Taliban have struck at two major military centres-Peshawar & Rawalpindi is a bit shattering. Is the whole edifice in Pakistan at risk?
    I doubt the USA can do much.
    China might have been a long time friend, but it is doubtful if she could ever dream of stemming the tide here, she can’t deal with her own Muslims


  12. 13 jens
    October 13, 2009 at 16:29

    should the question not really be “has pakistan given up on pakistan?”

  13. 14 Krupa Thakrar
    October 13, 2009 at 16:32

    We’ve got Akbar Ahmed, Chair of Islamic Studies at the American University and Former Pakistani High Commissioner to London joining us live from Washington. He thinks Pakistan needs the US as much as the US needs Pakistan – nobody is giving up in his eyes but equally nobody understands Pakistan….not even Pakistanis

  14. 17 Heba from WHYS
    October 13, 2009 at 16:38

    Today we’ll be joined on the show by Faizan Rana who is the UK’s spokesman for the National Union of Pakistani Students and Alumni. He thinks that people are too quick to write of Pakistan; in the long term it will sort itself out. What do you think? Join join the debate on air or online today.

  15. October 13, 2009 at 16:45

    Hi WHYS,
    Mark am double sure you didn’t mean Somalia. Did u? Only that this time around the powerplay involves nuclear arsenal in a globally very strategic region. The world can not afford to let Pakistan sink into absolute anarchy as this will only make Somalia look like an Idd party.

  16. 19 archibald
    October 13, 2009 at 16:51

    America doles out its support like a manipulative step-parent. Why would Pakistan want help with its problems from a country that has nothing, but, ulterior motives. Pakistan only needs the U.S., because, everyone knows that if you are not a stated ally then you are considered an enemy. Opting out of the global good old boy network is not an option for any country, if they want to survive.
    No one needs the U.S., it is just that the U.S. has a way of making itself needed by forcing situations to occur which, “cannot be ignored”, thus engaging the Marshall doctrine mentality and obliging response. Those who say that by ignoring Pakistan we are opening the door to more 9/11’s etc., are still blind to the fact that it is the U.S. and its policies abroad which directly encourage such acts. I am still not convinced that the U.S. gov’t wasn’t complicit in allowing 9/11 to occur in the first place. How else could we have invaded Iraq?

  17. 20 Anthony
    October 13, 2009 at 17:01

    @ Colin Sundaram

    Wow. Not to be offensive, but this is the kind of delusional thinking that keeps Pakistan down.

    -Anthony LA, CA

  18. October 13, 2009 at 17:17

    Jerry from WHYS here – John Butt, the Head of PACT Radio which broadcasts throughout the Pak-Afghan border regions particularly in Swat will join us on Skype today. After living in Swat and Peshawar for forty years he knows the country, the people and politics extremely well.

  19. October 13, 2009 at 17:17

    We cannot give up on Pakistan now more than ever as they now find theirselves on the Real Front Line. They will need all the encouragement and assistance that the west can provide them with, both Politicaly and Military. They are now taking the fight to the Taliban and other Terrorists at great cost, not only to their Military but also to their own National Civilians, who are being killed daily by these bombers, they do not moan about this but they just get on with the task in hand, and I wish them all the luck and success for a safe and peacefull future.

  20. 23 Shaun in Toronto (formerly Halifax)
    October 13, 2009 at 17:22

    It seems to me that there have been 2 factors that are causing such strife in this country. First, the army has been training for a conventional shooting war with India since 1947. Obviously Afghanistan has proven that this training is not effective when it comes to fighting what are essentially armed civilians. Second, is the tacit approval that the Pakistani government gave to the Taliban or Al-Quaeda during the initial invasion of Afghanistan by letting them set up in the mountains on the borderlands. It is hardly surprising that when you allow militant religious fanatics to operate in your country that their conflict will eventually spill over.

    As much as we’d love to wash our hands of Pakistan and let the government and military pay the penalties for its own ineptness and corruption, the West cannot. However what can be done? The invasion of one Muslim nation can be seen as a mistake. The invasion of two Muslim nations could be seen as poor policy. But the invasion of three? That can only be seen as an attempt to declare war on Islam. And we all know what happened when the West did that in 1095. We’re STILL fighting that war.

  21. 24 subra
    October 13, 2009 at 17:44

    If only religion could enlighten people, make then more reasonable and rational instead of exploiting them and relating stupid stories about infidels and the fidels, then and only then can this suicide bombers and their butcheries can come to an end.
    More sad is to witness, wise people contributing in this debate still striving to lay the blames on USA instead of owning their shortcomings.
    In Pakistan the government is in disarray, the army is disorganised, the people are standing on the fence while the suicide bombers are making mince meat of themselves and their brethren. A real murky situation!!

  22. 25 Venkat Gopal, North carolina
    October 13, 2009 at 17:48

    Dear Ros,

    Pakistan’s agenda is driven by religious fundamentalism and fanaticism. Unless they make an honest effort to change that mind set from the bottom up, i think Pakistan is an exercise in futility.
    This is a country that harbors terrorists and underworld criminals who have committed heinous crimes in their country of origin. Countries such as these have to be targets of the Global War Against Terrorism and not used as an ally only because of their strategic importance. 8 years , thousands of American and Allied lives and billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan the situation has only gotten more dire in Afghanistan. The Master minds of the 9/11 and the Mumbai blasts are safe in Pakistan and here we are talking of joining hands with that country…

  23. 26 James Turner
    October 13, 2009 at 17:51

    “Have you given up on Pakistan ?” All this rhetoric about saving the world! It can be done! We The United States of America can’t control the world! Period! We need to pull back protect our homeland. Offer help to our friends who request our help! Pakistan will have to rise up on it’s hind legs and protect it’s self! We the USA have created this monster. Our policy in the middle east and other parts of the world are what these people are fighting. IF WE BACK OFF THE MONSTER WILL DIE!!!! That’s what I keep hoping I will see from our new President. I think he understands these things, he is just having a difficult time doing what his mind says do……. The world will be a better place if he does! This will be his only term as President. It maybe millenniums before history credits that move as the best thing for this country!

  24. October 13, 2009 at 17:53

    Pakistan needs to be supported to the hilt by America and its allies. The threat of Taliban and al Qaeda getting hold of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is too scary to contemplate.Terrorism needs to be nipped in the bud. Pakistan’s attempts to become a democracy could only be a reality if nations throughout the world stand shoulder to shoulder with the current Pakistani government against the machinations of the extremists. In the same breath, the leaders of Pakistan should embrace democracy whole-heartedly and allow its citizens to have the basic freedoms. Only in a climate of genuine freedom and equality between the sexes can Pakistanis aspire for democratic rights.

  25. 28 Jessica in NYC
    October 13, 2009 at 17:59

    The United States cannot afford to give up on Pakistan, but as a tax paying citizen, I am frustrated with Pakistan’s constant hand in our purse asking for more money, but Pakistan continues to fail in governing and in its ability to secure its land from terrorist.

  26. 29 Shannon in Ohio
    October 13, 2009 at 18:08

    Giving up on Pakistan is not an option, but some (not all) Pakistanis seems to be in a state of denial about how very unstable the area is. Until all of the good people in that country confront the growing militancy there I doubt much will change. Pakistan needs to quit pointing fingers and clean its own house.

  27. October 13, 2009 at 18:09

    No of course not,the answer to Pakistan stability lies in Afghanistan,if Iran,Uzbekistan,Tajikistan,India and Pakistan divide up Afghanistan then their individual nations armies would take care of the problem (all the pashtuns would be united).
    Afghanistan has been a failed state for a very long time and there is no reason for it to exist,especially as a haven of drug warlords and terrorists.

  28. 31 viola
    October 13, 2009 at 18:09

    Why is everyone so surprised that the forces of terrorism have struck so forcefully in Pakistan? Pakistanis are not stupid. They know that the snake in their garden has grown fat and strong by its ability to disguise its poisonous fangs and destructive, ambitious, murderous desires. They do it by deluding a lot of good people into believing that all their troubles are caused by outside agitating infidels. Couple that delusion with the snake’s willingness to deliberately target and kill children and babies and it has a powerful weapon to accomplish its aims.

    When an enemy you’ve just engaged strikes back, it’s foolish to give up. The enemy is expected to strike. Why engage an enemy at all if you’re unwilling to persevere? If Pakistan has decided it cannot peacefully coexist with radical groups like the Taliban, let alone control them, who are we to argue?

    Perhaps Pakistan needs a stronger civilian police force and legal system to deal with these groups before they gain such strength that none but the military can effectively counter them.

  29. 32 Waqar Mushtaq
    October 13, 2009 at 18:13

    @”Colin Sundaram” and Tom …. You Words have really given me a lots of HOPE

    Please pray for my homeland

  30. 33 steve
    October 13, 2009 at 18:15

    Does not the existance of Pakistan kind of prove that people can’t live together? Even though India has more muslims than Pakistan does, Pakistan was created because Hindus and Muslims couldn’t live together. Pakistan has always been on shakey ground, with plenty of coups, with military rulers, and going back and forth between democracy. It has sponsored terrorism against India, has been in several wars with India. Pakistan has a history of instability.

  31. 34 Chintan in Houston
    October 13, 2009 at 18:18

    Akbar ahmed failes to realize that even though Pakistan has seen periods of democracy but they have had more totalitarian rule of the military then a democratic elected government.
    The ISI which is a fraction of the military has been accused of training terrorists to go into India and fight a proxy war for them.
    ISI as countries intelligence service is reposible for incuding this Jehad, how do we believe in them, no wonder the mutual distrust exists between USA/NATO and pakistan.
    But i am delighted to hear that people are against terrorism and that is what needed, a popular support that influences government policy.

  32. October 13, 2009 at 18:20

    The Pakistan Taliban could be viewed in the same light as the naxals maoists in neighbouring India(which receives far less coverage although score of people are killed everyday and they have even set up a parallel regime),People are forced to pick up the gun because the government has ignored them,they have no jobs, no electricity, no water ,no roads, no hope and no future .
    Development is the key both countries need infrastructure ,health ,education, law and order

  33. 36 Chintan in Houston
    October 13, 2009 at 18:26

    John Butt – do you think the war against terrorism can be won especially in swat valley, peshawar, northern frontier which is a lawless part of the country since 1947 i.e. independence of the country. Do you think this will change?

  34. 37 VictorK
    October 13, 2009 at 18:30

    *Re Colin Sundaram October 13, 2009 at 15:39: I think he’s being ironic.
    *I haven’t given up on Pakistan because I never put any stock in Pakistan.
    *It’s a pity that Obama’s administration has continued Pres Bush’s political sleight-of-hand in trying to convince the US and its Western allies that their security depends on what happens in Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan or whoever else is targeted for interference and intervention. Securing our borders in the West and firmly dealing wih the Jihadists already amongst us is as much as we can, or need, do to ensure our safety. We cannot put our confidence in unreliable, hostile, treacherous, or incapable states in the Muslim world. What happens in Pakistan needn’t concern us if we attend to our own security at home.

  35. 38 Joseph Gilmore
    October 13, 2009 at 18:40

    How can we continue to trust the Pakistani gov’t after the AQ Kahn proliferation debacle?

  36. October 13, 2009 at 18:42

    What is the worst-case scenario in Pakistan? What are the stakes? If the answer is that America and Britain’s enemies gain control of nuclear weapons to detonate in our cities, then there is no price too high to pay to avoid that fate.

  37. 40 AWLinNC
    October 13, 2009 at 18:43

    AWL, North Carolina, U.S. – Of course we cannot give up on Pakistan. Pakistan’s success is essential to U.S. and world security. The problem of ultra-conservative Islamic militias is an old one in PK. The government and army have long had a truce based on the relative autonomy of the border regions. It seems to me that the government and the army have finally wokec up to the truth that Pakistan cannot survive with such powerful forces able to exert their will over that of the government. Now that the army seems to serious in fighting them (although that remains to be seen), the U.S. must cooperate in Afghanistan by continuing pressure against the Taliban, so that militants cannot use AF as a base against PK, and hopefully vice versa. The consequences of what happens in PK directly affect the U.S.; we cannot withdraw and stick our heads in the sand. We did that in 1990 with terrible results, and cannot make that mistake again. One of our goals must be to broker peace b/n PK and India over Jammu-Kashmir. Our two important allies need to be friends, or at least not active enemies.

  38. 41 Manoj(US)
    October 13, 2009 at 18:47

    Shouldn’t we understand the very cause of this chaos???…….The militants desire to see Pakistani citizen feel that they are on the brink of destruction….If the PAk people give up to it…then the wrong ones will win…….

  39. 42 AJM
    October 13, 2009 at 18:48

    Britain, at the height of it’s imperial power, never pacified the tribal areas. Pakistan knows deep down, it cant either but will put on a show for American dollars. FATA is ungovernable and will always produce bandits/ militants.

  40. October 13, 2009 at 19:06

    Nearly finished listening to the show. I have one remaining query:-If Pakistan falls,who will be next? Bearing in mind fundamentalist Islam is seeking world domination. Another reason not to give up on Pakistan.

  41. 44 VictorK
    October 13, 2009 at 19:09

    @Guy Brookshire: that sounds like a recipe for permanent war, bringing with it the permanent enmity of the Muslim world. Same with ‘not giving up on Pakistan’. We should reject both positions.
    @AWLinNC: mightn’t giving up on Pakistan be the smart thing to do? The momentum is always with the militants. If they can fight the two best trained & best equipped armies in the world to a standstill in Afgh (despite their inferiority in both respects) then they can look forward to victory in Pakistan. The US is swimming against the current of history. If Pakistan’s fate is to be Talibanised we should try to come to some kind of accommodation with its masters-to-be, not commit ourselves to those destined to lose.
    @Manoj: perhaps the ones with the greatest will and determination to win (like the Taliban) deserve to win.
    @AJM: yes.

    • 45 Tom K in Mpls
      October 13, 2009 at 22:02

      VictorK, in your comment to AWLinNC, you assume that the correct tactics were used. They were not. Direct traditional methods were used. The Taliban are more like an insurgency than not, even though they have developed into an group with no true home. Victory will come when they can no longer recruit. This means we need to be sure nobody would want to join them. That means making life better in the area by allowing it to develop the way the locals want it to.

      Also the Taliban have stated and proven they will not compromise in bringing their rule to the world. This clarity of purpose is what appeals to some recruits.

  42. 46 Peter
    October 13, 2009 at 19:11

    What to say? Al Qaeda is not in afghanistan anymore but NATO is stuck there and pakistan got caught in the quicksand. Don’t deal with USA or else like the dai lama you will be exiled .

  43. October 13, 2009 at 20:12

    Nobody needs to give up on Pakistan.Give up Pakistan as it is a failed state.No doubt, Pakistanis will not like foreign interference in their affairs as any self respecting Nation should.
    Leave Pakistan to its fate and shore up your defenses, keep China away from Pakistan.That’s all.

  44. 48 Ricky
    October 13, 2009 at 20:20

    We ought to encourage Pakistan to erect a boundary between it and the tribal areas, or maybe open dialogue with the Taliban and try to discourage the Taliban from violent attacks. Or maybe we should send a competing force, with strict rules favoring honesty and virtue and banning corruption, preferably made up of Muslims, to oppose the Taliban. This movement would adopt the Talibanic and Al-Qaeda organizational structures and ways of manuevering, and would study and adapt to the rebels so as to keep the rebellion to a minimum without as much USA help.

    • 49 Tom K in Mpls
      October 13, 2009 at 22:12

      Walls don’t work well for communisms with free allocation of resources and no trade (USSR, N Korea). They are hopeless in countries with other priorities, trade and huge hostile landscapes. When there is a will, there is a way.

      The answer is in the last sentence. Help the locals develop as they wish. They do not want the Taliban. Do it one town at a time along a manageable front.

  45. 50 Thomas Murray
    October 13, 2009 at 21:28

    Giving up on Pakistan would be cultural suicide.

    Remember: They have the atom bomb.

    If a bunch of fall-down religion-drunk fanatics like the Taliban or Al Qaida get their hands on one, I can say with very good certainty that THEY WILL USE IT ON US. And they will keep using them until either we submit to the Will of Allah, or until we vaporize the lot of them with our stash. Either scenario is unspeakable.

    –Stocking Up on Canned Food in Loiusiville, Kentucky, US.

  46. 51 Fatema Baluchi
    October 13, 2009 at 21:54

    If the common man around the world doesn’t understand what the U.S. and the NATO are trying to solve by going into Afghanistan and Pakistan, do you expect the militant to understand the world outside, or understand the modern thinking? They are doing what they have known to do for centuries and protecting what they have protected forever, their belief, whatever it may be wrong or right. They actually laugh at the U.S. who chose to aid a corrupt and a disorganized government. The U.S. is wasting their money in Afghanistan and Pakistan because most of it will go to the government’s and the military elite’s personal pockets. How about helping erase illiteracy, build schools, hospitals, roads, fertilize the land for an abundant of food so no one will go hungry no one will feel deprived no one will feel pain, or else why would anyone blow himself up and die. Have you looked at pictures of desperate faces of children, old men and women living in the tribal areas? Have you seen what the Pakistani military have done to the Bugti leader? They used a sophisticated American made missile to kill him. His only fault was asking and fighting for his right and the right of his people…the Baluch. Tell me where justice is, and I will tell you how to win the war aginst the Taliba.

    Thank you Mark

  47. 53 scmehta
    October 14, 2009 at 06:39

    Who are we to give up on Pakistan? It’s the people of the country, whose say should matter the most. however, I’m of the opinion, that , it is for the first time in the history of the country that the truly democratic and the peace-loving future is being carved out by genuinely and relentlessly fighting against the enemies within; the enemies of the civilized and moderate society. I hope Pakistan remains sincere and determined in its effort to thwart the evil designs of the extremists and terrorists.

  48. October 14, 2009 at 07:07

    If you sow wind you will naturally reap whirlwind! Why complain?

  49. 55 Khadija
    October 14, 2009 at 07:21

    what hits me everytime i read these comments is the fact that people have developed a demonising image of Pakistan and i submit that the international media has a role to play here. look at the kerry lugar bill, it says: ‘Pakistan should “cease” supporting terrorist groups’… all i here is contradiction, US government at one point says that ‘pakistan is playing a pivotal role in its war against terrorism’ and then slaps us with a bill that promises aid and also accuses us of terrorism.

    i think it is the international community needs to take a firm position: either pakistan is a victim of terrorism or it is a terrorist country… in light of all these contradictions how can anyone expect pakistanis to support this kerry lugar bill and the american governemnt in general?

    I will say what i said in the program again: we are now 100% against these terrorists and extremists who will now not be able to fool people into thinking or believeing in their hijacked and despotic version of islam.

    Also, i agree with fatima baluchi, education is our only hope if we are serious about eradicating this menace of terrorism in the long run…

    thankyou Mark.

  50. 56 Alec Paterson
    October 14, 2009 at 14:54

    Since 2001 the Pakistan government has received more than $10 billion in American money. The survival of Pakistan’s military and civilian leaders has depended on a double game, assuring the United States that they were vigorously repressing Islamic militants, and in some cases actually doing so, while simultaneously tolerating and assisting the same militants. No amount of American aid will significantly alter the situation in Pakistan, or lessen popular support for the Islamic jihad of the Taliban and allied groups. For the Americans will always, no matter how much money they lavish upon the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, be infidels. This pattern is repeated throughout the Islamic world. Every government that goes too far in implementing Western principles encounters religious resistance. Pakistan also has struggled since its independence with the relationship between Western principles and Sharia norms. It was founded as a secular state, but Islamic activists resisted its secular character from the beginning. In 1956, eight years after independence, it was proclaimed an Islamic Republic. Amid a great deal of ongoing unrest, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto promised in 1977 to implement the Sharia. Shortly thereafter Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, declared that the Sharia was above Pakistan’s civil law. Christians and Hindus are persecuted.

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