The State Is Falling Apart
By DAVID BARSAMIAN
1- Pakistan is showing characteristics of a state that is falling apart. The military basically is in control. The intelligence agencies exercise enormous power. The assassination was predictable. Since I arrived here on 30 November I have been telling people that Benazeer will be killed. It did not take a genius to see that. A major attempt was made on her life on 18 Oct in Karachi when over 140 people were killed. The political situation is highly unstable and has been for some time. Musharraf sacked the Supreme Court Chief Justice in March. Since then he has taken more autocratic measures supposedly to curb extremists but in fact aimed at the moderate opposition, lawyers, judges and the media.
2 - Al Qaida and the Taliban could not operate in Pakistan without at least the collusion of the military and the intelligence agencies who have long had ties with them. The Taliban is literally a creature of the latter. Much of the jihad was birthed in Islamabad and funded by Saudi Arabia through the madarsa network of Islamic seminaries. US has never acknowledged its central role in the creation of these groups. In order to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan, a Faustian bargain was struck by Washington. The chickens, as Malcolm X used to say, have come and are coming home to roost. No doubt there are jihadi elements operating inside of Pakistan. Bhutto was a hope for Washington because she was on record as saying that if she came to power she would allow the US military to enter Pakistan. Najam Sethi, the noted Pakistani journalist in Lahore, is on record as saying Benazeer was Washington's candidate. Others have intimated the same. As Musharraf has accrued more and more power and is increasingly obdurate he has become a liability for America. Another reason for the tilt toward Benazeer. Of course the US cares not an iota for Pakistan or its people. They, like Iraqis and Afghans are mere extras on the grand chessboard. Imperialism takes no prisoners and saves no lives.
3- With all her political problems and charges of corruption notwithstanding Benazeer was still an important and charismatic figure. Beyond grief there is great rage and anger at Musharraf. She was provided with no visible security protection at an open rally in the very park where Pakistan's first prime minister Liaqat Ali Khan was assassinated, hence named after him. She was also killed very near the prison where her father was hanged in 1979 by the infamous dictator and Islamist Zia ul-Haq. Elections are still scheduled for 8 Jan thou even now Nawaz Sharif has announced his party will boycott. Highly likely that Musharraf will be killed and no one will shed a tear. Prospects for more bloodshed and anarchy in Pakistan are high as the country continues its slide into darkness.
David Barsamian, Director
Boulder, CO 80304 USA
303 444 8788