Pragmatic | Zardari explains

Why Pakistan supports terror

It could have been written by any of the cheerleaders of the Pakistani establishment. But then it would have been published in Pakistani newspapers, not in the international media. So Honourable President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari does the honours with this column in today’s Washington Post. Among the many gems — lies, half-truths and passive-aggressive threats — (“Pakistan is pounded by the ravages of globally driven climate change”, “Washington has invested almost nothing on our side of the border”, “South and Central Asia is a region… where many empires have floundered“), the killer paragraph is the justification for Pakistan’s actions in Afghanistan:

As the United States plans to remove its ground forces from Afghanistan and once again leave our region, we are attempting to prepare for post-withdrawal realities. The international community abandoned Central and South Asia a generation ago, triggering the catastrophe that we now find ourselves in. Whoever comes or goes, it is our coming generation that will face the firestorm. We have to live in the neighborhood. So why is it unreasonable for us to be concerned about the immediate and long-term situation of our Western border? History will not forgive us if we don’t take responsibility.[WaPo]

So dear President Obama, now you know why it is reasonable for Pakistan to support terrorists like the Haqqanis who kill US soldiers in Afghanistan. Only if you’d have answered that in your latest radio interview.

This column is another reminder to those who never forget to harp upon the need to support a democratically elected civilian government in Pakistan, as opposed to the military. The premise is wrong. No one is opposed to anyone else. They are all on the same side. The masks can change but the message remains the same.

As an aside, in the recent Pakistani attempts at influencing the West, which one is worse —  this Zardari op-ed or the advertisement in the Wall Street Journal on 11 September, 2011?

Tailpiece: While the usual suspect for such work is Ambassador Hussain Haqqani, Columnist Mohammad Taqi said on Twitter that this column seems to have been ghost-written by Sherry Rehman.

DISCLAIMER: This is an archived post from the Indian National Interest blogroll. Views expressed are those of the blogger's and do not represent The Takshashila Institution’s view.