‘Turmoil in Pakistan is the result of growing anti-American Islamic nationalism’

November 16th, 2007 - 4:24 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov 16 (ANI): The ongoing political turmoil in Pakistan accompanied with growing the hold of al Qaeda supported Taliban in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan is the result of a rising sense of Islamic nationalism in the region that has been bolstered by the US administration’s ignorance of the strategic, cultural and psychological realities of the region, says intelligence expert Graham E. Fuller.
In an article titled, ‘Anti-American Islamic Nationalism Is Behind Pakistan Crisis’ that was published in the weekly commentary Global Viewpoint, the expert writes, “Humbled Muslim societies everywhere see (Osama) bin Laden as one of the few figures in the Muslim world willing to stand up with honour and bravery to the American colossus and defy its imperial ambitions. That makes bin Laden more popular than (US President George) Bush or (Pakistan President General Pervez) Musharraf, even if most of the population does not share bin Laden’s vision of violent global jihadi struggle.”
In his opinion, Pashtun tribals in the region, who do not recognise the MacMohan Line dividing Pakistan and Afghanistan, consider the Taliban ideology as a major vehicle for their nationalism.
“Indeed, the Taliban as a political and ideological movement is growing more powerful within Pakistan itself,” the former Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA writes, adding, “Bush wants Pakistan to cut off cross-border contact between Pakistan and Afghanistan, to deny Pakistan as a safe haven for the Afghan Taliban.
However he says that Musharraf and his generals would “pay lip service to this goal, but they will not ultimately do it.”
“Pakistan already has one powerful enemy on its eastern flank - India. It cannot afford to have a hostile Afghanistan on its western side. Every Pakistani strategic thinker knows this. Yet under the (Hamid) Karzai government in Afghanistan, the enemies of Pakistan - the anti-Pashtun Northern Alliance, and a strong Indian political and intelligence presence - have grown strong. Pakistan’s primary voice and influence inside Afghanistan comes mainly via the Taliban, supported behind the scenes by the Pakistani military on strategic grounds. Washington may rail at this, but it cannot change these facts on the ground,” he adds.
Commenting on the political situation in Pakistan, Fuller writes that the incumbent government there remains to be dominated by powerful feudal rural landholders with regressive social and economic policies, and even Benazir Bhutto, “for all her Western polish, herself represents those very landowning powers in her native Sindh region.”
“The kind of deep social reform required is not in the offing, neither with Musharraf nor with Bhutto. She has been tested - twice - and found wanting,” he adds.
Stating that Washington, which wants a compliant Pakistan, would make the latter dutifully do its assigned role any way with or without democracy, Fuller adds, “Sadly, Pakistan is now swift on the heels of Iraq and Afghanistan in heading toward increased civil strife and bitter anti-American emotions.” (ANI)

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