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TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.

Pakistan's state terrorism
Another forgotten war, another forgotten people
Afghanistan as a Pakistani war of conquest
Pakistan, not Afghanistan
The biggest crisis awaiting to explode.
Articles on Pakistan before 2009

  • (october 2009) Pakistan's state terrorism. There is evidence that Pakistan has not done much to curb the Islamic terrorists who attacked India and are very much determined to attack again. (See this New York Times article). As an Indian official summarized it, "The only cooperation we have with the Pakistanis is that they send us their terrorists, who kill our people, and we kill their terrorists."
    Pakistan is basically fanning out terrorists in both directions: towards Afghanistan and towards India. Both the Taliban that cause trouble in Afghanistan and the Lashkar-e-Taiba that causes trouble in India have been created by Pakistan's secret services and probably still enjoy some degree of protection and support. There is no other state in the world that supports terrorism to the extent that Pakistan does, not even Iran. Still, the policy of the West has been to support the government of Pakistan (first Musharraf and now Asif Ali Zardari) hoping that something will change. Nothing has changed: the number of terrorist attacks against both India and Afghanistan has actually increased, and Osama bin Laden is still free (and presumably living in Pakistan).
    The reason that nothing has changed is that the West keeps making the same mistake: accusing the regime, or sinister elements within the regime, of an Islamic country and ignoring the people of that country. Just like Barack Obama's speech ignored the reality of the streets and cafes of the Arab world (see Obama's Cairo speech: wishful thinking at its worst), so the Western policy towards Pakistan ignores what the average Pakistani thinks: the average Pakistani feels that Lashkar-e-Taiba fights for a just cause. Any politician who seriously tried to disband Lashkar-e-Taiba would not only be killed by the terrorists but also be criticized by the "silent majority".
    The way Lashkar-e-Taiba presents itself to the Pakistani masses (and to the Islamic masses of the rest of the world) is very different from the way the West and India perceives it. The West and India simply see madmen killing innocents. The Pakistanis and the Islamic world at large see Muslims in India who are subject to the rule of infidels (Hindus) and organization, Lashkar-e-Taiba, that obeys the spirit of the Quran and tries to kill those evil infidels. The West and India sees a multi-ethnic multi-religious democracy where most Muslims see an infidel empire of almost one billion people oppressing 200 million Muslims. The idea of a multi-ethnic multi-religious democracy is totally alien to the Muslim mind, that was not raised and educated to think in terms of respect for other religions but only in terms of liberating Muslims oppressed by non-Muslims (and eventually of imposing Islam on the entire planet). Muslims see oppression where the West and India see tolerance. From their viewpoint it's India (not Pakistan) that has a terrible regime: they don't care that Muslims can vote in India if Muslims don't have the power. India is a terrible place for them because 200 million Muslims have to obey the ruling class of India, who are almost all Hindus (with the exception of the Catholic widow Sonia Gandhi). If anyone needs any proof of this sentiment, just count the number of Pakistanis who marched in the street to protest the Mumbai terrorist attack.
    See also Pakistan, not Afghanistan and Afghanistan as a Pakistani war of conquest.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2007 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (may 2009) Another forgotten war, another forgotten people. In a country like Pakistan that was founded on a religion (Islam) and that later renamed itself "Islamid Republic", the Pakistani regione of Baluchistan stands out as being unusually free of religious extremism or violence. There is little that the Baluchis have in common with the rest of Pakistan. But there is something that the rest of Pakistan desperately needs: natural gas, oil, uranium. And a strategic location at the intersection of the Arabian and Indian oceans. Pakistan has spent 60 years robbing these people of their natural resources. There was ethnic cleansing in the 1970s to get rid of many of the hardcore Baluchis, and there is a tacit program of land expropriation still going on in 2009. When the Baluchis protest, the Pakistani leaders brand them as "terrorists" so that the USA treats them like members of Al Qaeda or allies of the Taliban. In reality, it has become a self-fulfilling propecy: if Pakistan keeps robbing them with the help of the USA, they will inevitably join the enemies of the USA.
    When Pakistan was created by the British, the Baluchis were one of the many ethnic groups and did not feel too threatened. The balance of power changed dramatically when Bangladesh seceded in 1971: the Bengalis of Bangladesh were the only ethnic group that could compete with the Punjabis that control most of Western Pakistan (today's Pakistan). In theory, Pakistan is still a multi-ethnic country, but in practice since 1971 the Punjabis are almost half of the population, whereas the Baluchis are less than 4%. The Punjabis control the army, and the army is the main driver of the land expropriation and ethnic cleansing that is taking place in Baluchistan. (See the Pakistani magazine "The Herald", june 2008, "The Great Land Robbery").
    China has gladly helped in the project because it hopes to get access to that sea bypassing the Indian Ocean, that is controlled by the USA and India, now a formidable alliance (See India vs China: a story of waking-up giants). In 2007 China completed the port of Gawdar in Baluchistan, and is now linking it to the Karakorum Highway to reach China.
    In its desperate desire to get Pakistan on board for its "war on terror", the USA has de facto removed the Baluchis from the face of the Earth, and it may accept to brand them as "terrorists" to appease the Pakistani government. The USA keeps misinterpreting the entire history of Pakistan. Pakistan is not an ancient nation with a strong tradition of nationalism. Afghanistan has existed for more than 250 years, and its people (regardless of the ethnic group) do feel that a nation of Afghanistan exists and should continue to exist. Despite all the trouble of the last three decades, few Afghanis are in favor of dismantling their country along ethnic lines. Pakistan is a recent invention that never existed before in history, and its people are united by the weakest of links: a central government and a national army. There is no real national identity or shared history (hence the need to paint India as the "common" enemy).
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2007 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (may 2009) Afghanistan as a Pakistani war of conquest. Britain, the USA and the Soviet Union are often blamed for the long mess in Afghanistan, but the real culprit may be Pakistan. Afghanistan (that has been independent since 1747, way longer than either Pakistan or India, or even the USA) was a relatively successful multi-ethnic state run by a benign monarch when British India split into the independent countries of Pakistan and India in 1947. The major aberration of that split was the war between the two countries, that left one million people dead and millions of refugees. Unnoticed at the time was the fact that Pakistan wasn't any friendlier towards Afghanistan. Afghanistan (a relatively modern country) claimed the Pashtun areas of Pakistan on the basis of ethnic, linguistic and cultural ties, whereas Pakistan had a purely religious (Islamic) approach to the issue.
    For the next two decades Pakistan was largely busy fighting India. Then in april 1973 Sardar Daud staged a coup that ended the monarchy of Afghanistan. Daud resumed Afghanistan's claims on Pashtun land and Pakistan (under civilian president Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) responded by helping Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar stage a failed insurrection in october 1975. After another failed attempt, Hekmatyar and other rebels went in exile to Pakistan.
    In the meantime, the Soviet Union had been active in Afghanistan. Since 1956 a treaty between the two countries provided for Soviet advisors to train the Afghan army. Over the decades that factor had created sympathy within the Afghan army for the communist cause. By late 1977 Daud was beginning to replace the Soviet advisors with Iranian advisors provided by the Iranian secret service (the SAVAK), a USA ally, while improving ties with USA allies such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and even Pakistan itself. The Communist Party of India and the Soviet Union helped the Communist Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) unite against Daud. In april 1978 the Afghan army helped the Afghan Communist Party (PDPA) overthrow and execute Daud, and installed Nur Muhammad Taraki as president. He and his deputy Hafizullah Amin (the mastermind of the coup) were both ethnic Pashtuns, and further increased Pakistan's anxiety.
    Now the new president of Pakistan was Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, a general inspired by Syed Abul A'ala Maududi (founder of Jamaat-e-Islami, the Islamic revivalist party), a general who had overthrown Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in july 1977, with help from the Islamic parties that were being funded by Saudi Arabia.
    Zia realized that the communist government of Afghanistan represented a three-pronged threat to Pakistan: ethnic because of the Pashtun ties; religious because it was un-Islamic; and economic because of its land reforms (Pakistan was as feudal as Afghanistan). Contrary to what widely assumed, it appears that it was the Pakistanis who pressured the USA to counter the Soviet influence in Afghanistan, not viceversa. It was yet another case of the USA being duped by a smarter ally who had its own agenda. It was Zia who demanded an astronomical increase in USA military aid to fight the communists in Afghanistan, not the USA that forced Pakistan to accept it.
    Zia also realized what was happening in Afghanistan: the communist reforms (particularly women's rights) were causing great discontent among the traditional Islamic masses of Afghanistan. Globalized Islam (based in Saudi Arabia) seized an opportunity to advance its agenda and stirred the crowds. Zia himself had not made a secret of his ambitions to turn Pakistan into the leader of the Islamic world, and even confessed the dream of uniting the whole Islamic region from Turkey to Central Asia (in 2001 Selig Harrison recalled that "general Zia spoke to me about expanding Pakistan's sphere of influence to control Afghanistan, then Uzbekistan and Tajikstan and then Iran and Turkey,"). Zia probably felt that Pakistan was not only entitled but obliged to work as the vehicle for the Arabian-based forces (and money) of Globalized Islam to destabilize communist Afghanistan. Pakistan began a covert program of turning the Afghan protesters into armed "mujaheddin".
    Beginning in october 1978, riots erupted in several Afghan cities. The communist regime had to use the same methods that Stalin had used in the Soviet Union: an estimated 27,000 political prisoners were executed between april 1978 and december 1979. In march 1979 in the city of Herat dozens of Soviet citizens were slain by the mob. In retaliation the Soviet Union bombed Herat, killing more than 20,000 people. Pressured by Zia, USA president Jimmy Carter authorized military aid in july 1979 to arm the "mujaheddin" fighting against the Soviet-supported regime of Afghanistan.
    At the time the Soviet Union had its own ambitions on the region. While it is not true what Pakistan told the USA (that the Soviet Union had engineered the communist coup in Afghanistan), it was true that the Soviet Union was expanding its sphere of influence from Eastern Europe to every continent, as several countries ousted their pro-Western regimes or adopted socialist agendas (notably in Indochina, Africa, the Arab world and India). At the same time the USA was losing prestige and allies, notably Iran, where in february 1979 an Islamic Revolution ousted the USA-backed shah. Jimmy Carter's advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski claims that the USA saw "the opportunity of giving to the Soviet Union its Vietnam War" by luring the Soviet Union into a trap; but most likely the USA was simply dragged into it by a scheming ally (Pakistan) the same way it had been dragged into Vietnam (by France) and would be dragged into Iraq (by Iraqi exiles).
    In september 1979 Amin staged a coup and killed Taraki, but the situation only got worse, with the Pakistani-supported Islamic mujaheddin gaining ground in almost all provinces. At the end of december Brezhnev ordered the Soviet army to invade Afghanistan. The USA, under its new president Ronald Reagan, finally gave Zia the money that he wanted, and "Operation Cyclone", the largest-ever CIA covert operation, got underway, supplying the Afghan mujahideen with the arms needed to fight the Soviet army.
    The Soviet Union did not gain anything from this war. The USA won the Cold War against the Soviet Union, but also nurtured its future enemy (Islamism). The real winner was Pakistan. Pakistan was nothing before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It became one of the most strategic allies of the USA afterwards. By facilitating the whole mess, Zia accomplished his dream of turning Pakistan into a major player.
    The bottom line is that the Soviet Union was dragged reluctantly into Afghanistan and the USA (despite Brzezinski's claims) was also reluctantly dragged into it. All three (Afghanistan, Soviet Union and the USA) were the victims of a Pakistani strategy to control Afghanistan as a first step towards expanding its influence into Central Asia and becoming the leader of the Islamic world. After all, there is only one Islamic country that developed the nuclear bomb and that today continues manufacturing more (using, guess what, Afghanistan as a pretext to obtain funds from the USA). And, ultimately, this is more about Islam than the Pakistani leaders would like to admit (read also Pakistan, not Afghanistan for the feelings of ordinary Pakistanis). Any country that is not Islamic should not for a second believe that Pakistan, as it is now, can be a real friend. It is unbelievable how quickly the USA forgot that it was Pakistan to sell nuclear technology to North Korea, Iran and Libya. (North Korea is not Islamic, but it was the only country willing to help Pakistan develop missiles, starting in 1992: without missiles to carry them, your nuclear bombs would be pretty much useless).
    Pakistan matters greatly in the post-2001 world because it originally represented a synthesis of Western and Islamic civilizations (just like Turkey, but Turkey's proximity to Western Europe makes it less of an experiment that distant Pakistan). If that synthesis fails in Pakistan, one wonders where it can succeed.
    Sources:
    "A History of Pakistan and Its Origins" by Christophe Jaffrelot
    "Pakistan and the Emergence of Islamic Militancy in Afghanistan" by Rizwan Hussain
    "Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story" by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould
    Avoid the cartoonish "Charlie Wilson's War"
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2007 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (may 2009) Pakistan, not Afghanistan. Barack Obama's decision of shifting the emphasis of USA military efforts from Iraq to Afghanistan seems to be driven more by a desire to restore moral credibility than by a carefully planned strategic investment. Obama thinks that the attackers of 2001 came from Afghanistan, not Iraq, and therefore the USA was wrong to attack Iraq and neglect Afghanistan. Fair. But he should face the whole truth: that the people who attacked the USA were just a bunch of bandits (not much more organized than the pirates of Somalia) who used student visas to enter the USA, used paper cutters to hijack four planes and used the planes to cause massive civilians casualties. It was not a foreign army that landed on the coast of the USA and shot civilians with cannons or machine guns. Obama's desire to capture the man considered responsible for the attacks, Osama bin Laden, stems from a desire for justice (and maybe prestige). Obama's plan to send thousands of soldiers into Afghanistan stems from something else that he is not articulating honestly. In a sense, he is twisting the arm of the USA public opinion the same way that Bush did, just in a different direction.
    The truth is that Afghanistan's strategic importance is debatable at best. During the Cold War it was important for the Soviet Union: it would have allowed the Soviet Union to put pressure on Iran and Pakistan (both USA allies) and moved its center of mass a lot closer to important oil routes. However, now it is mostly a place for Pakistan and India to vie for influence, with Pakistan inevitably destined to win (because of ethnic, religious and geographic factors). Afghanistan's international importance is similar to Burma's: the world should have the moral responsibility to help out populations that are oppressed by brutal regimes. Alas, the world mostly turns the other way, as it has done in Burma for two decades.
    By intervening in Afghanistan the West has taught the Taliban a lesson, but the price has been high. Afghanistan has become again the main exporter of heroin. Warlords have carved out their own little kingdoms. And NATO has been stuck in an endless war of attrition against the Taliban. The Taliban have religious faith on their side, NATO has only scant resources and weak commitments at a time of economic crisis.
    By injecting more soldiers as Obama wants to do, the (Christian) West is likely to cause the kind of backfiring that took place in Iraq, and therefore the same kind of escalating violence. Muslims from all over the Islamic world may start flocking to Afghanistan to defend fellow Muslims perceived as attacked by infidels. Bush could at least tacitly justify his "investment" in Iraq with Iraq's enormous strategic importance. Afghanistan's strategic importance, instead, is just not worth it. If Afghanistan falls, it will be another Burma: an isolated country despised by all its neighbors that will slowly drift into a dark age. Just like Burma, Afghanistan is a country surrounded by neighbors that need little from it and would simply act to contain its mess.
    As it stands, the West is stuck fighting a war in Afghanistan to defend a corrupt and unpopular government, something eerily reminiscent of South Vietnam.
    The USA's strategic interest lies with the nuclear weapons of Pakistan. One of the side effects of fighting in Afghanistan has been to send thousands of Afghani fighters and their "foreign" supporters (mostly Pakistanis) back into Pakistan (where they originally came from in the 1990s, brainwashed by the Pakistani madrasas and trained by the Pakistani secret services). That military force is now posing a real threat to the Pakistani government. Unlike Afghanistan, where fighters use old guns and home-made bombs which are effective in fighting guerrilla wars against invaders but not offensive wars, Pakistan is armed with nuclear weapons and boasts a huge army.
    Many in the West assume that Pakistan is more "controllable" than Afghanistan because its population is better educated, more westernized, better integrated in world affairs and, ultimately, more "reasonable". Alas, Muslim brotherhood prevails there as it does in all of the Islamic world. The Pakistani government, army and population are somewhat willing to fight against their own Taliban and other extremist Islamic groups, but only to an extent and only when these groups pose a threat to Pakistan itself. The unifying force within Pakistan (across all social sectors) is the rivalry with India, a Hindu country, as well as some level of contempt towards the USA and Britain, two Christian countries. Pakistanis (at all levels) view the Taliban (especially the Afghani ones) and assorted Islamic militias as long-term allies against the real enemies (the infidels), even when they are short-term enemies for controls of this or that region. The one thing you are likely to hear across all Pakistani social layers is that all Muslims of the world should be united, should never fight each other. You are unlikely to hear any Pakistani civilian or soldier say that the Pakistanis should unite with India or the USA, never fight against India or the USA. (See this poll of march 2009: 80% of Pakistanis supported a peace deal with the Taliban, 56% were willing to accept shariia law, but only 37% were in favor of collaborating with the USA). Islam prevails over anything else. The prospect of the USA helping create better social, economic and political conditions in Pakistan is not welcome by the average Pakistani: it is viewed just like the USA "liberation" of Iraq was viewed (an occupation of Islamic land by an infidel army). The prospect of the Taliban taking over the power of Pakistan is viewed with alarm by many, but is less likely to cause outrage. Most Pakistanis would not arm themselves against the Taliban the way they would arm themselves against the USA or India.
    Westerners seem to neglect the fact that a country already exists that is the worst combination of Iran and North Korea: armed with nuclear weapons, with a track record of "proliferating" nuclear technology (it was Pakistan that sold it to North Korea and Iran), fanatically Islamic (Pakistan became an Islamic republic in 1956, 22 years before Iran, and the constitution forbids any non-Muslim from becoming president), a failed state (there are at least three civil wars going on, if one counts Baluchistan's separatist movement and the two main factions of Pakistani Taliban) and a society with a tradition of religious intolerance (the percentage of Hindus has declined to almost zero, whereas the percentage of Muslims in India has remained the same as it was in 1948, and Christians are routinely massacred).
    In fact, Pakistan is worse than either Iran or North Korea because it is also a land of extreme corruption, something that compares with the heydays of the Italian mafia. Corruption is widespread both among the political leaders (the current president, Asif Zardari is nicknamed in Pakistan "Mr 10%" because of the cut that he used to demand on government contracts) and among the lower-level officials (such as judges, army officers and police officers). Mass murderers have rarely been arrested and, if arrested, rarely convicted. They can easily buy their release from jail. Even while in jail, they still have more power than the judges who have to sentence them. For example, Malik Ishaq, founder of the bloody Islamist movement Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, arrested in 1997 for the murder of 70 people, has never been convicted of any of those murders, while the witnesses of those murders either recanted or disappeared. (See this New York Times article) Under a law passed in 1990 (based on the holy book of the Muslims, the Quran) a criminal can settle his crime with the victim by paying money. This law has greatly increased the number of criminal cases that are never brought to justice because wealthy gangsters can intimidate the families of the victims and offer them money as compensation: most families will take the money rather than risk death if they insist in getting justice.
    The leadership of the Afghani Taliban is probably based in Qetta, the capital of Baluchistan, comfortably out of reach for the USA. Pakistani troops have been fighting their own Taliban in the northwest because they posed a threat to Pakistan itself, but they are happy to protect the Afghani Taliban in Qetta because, from the point of view of the average Pakistani and of its politicians, these are long-term allies: hopefully (from their point of view) some day they will return to power in Kabul and Afghanistan will again become a dependency of Islamabad.
    History also taught them who has a record of taking over their country: Pakistan has experienced three military coups and all three were supported by the USA. The Taliban and other Islamic militias never even tried to stage a coup.
    Put it this way: having to choose between a war against India over Kashmir and a war against the Taliban over shariia in the Swat valley, the vast majority of Pakistanis would probably choose the former. The average Pakistani cannot fathom India as an ally against the Islamic extremists, but it would accept and even welcome the Islamic extremists as allies against India. Democracy is mostly a vague concept that needs to be clarified, whereas Islam is a certainty and a pillar of the nation (that, after all, renamed itself as "Islamic republic of Pakistan").
    This is unfortunate because Pakistan wouldn't be the first nation overrun by the one enemy that it was not expecting. Greeks and Phoenicians were conquered by the barbarians of their former colonies in Italy. Persians and Byzatines were annihilated by the nomads of Arabia. The British Empire was reduced to smithereens not by Hitler but by the USA. The Soviet Union was crippled by a Polish Pope and by the Afghan mujahedin. Pakistan thinks that its mortal enemy is India and has trained its 600,000 troops to fight a conventional war against India, but it is dangerously unprotected against an invasion from Afghanistan and dangerously unprepared to fight a guerrilla war. The president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari (Bhutto's husband), repeats what he is forced to say by the USA, but the army general, Ashfaq Kayani, routinely overrules him and does the opposite (at best, token gestures such as moving a few thousand troops from the Indian border to the Afghan border).
    That's the other problem with Pakistan. Whenever they have a civilian president, it is not clear who to talk to. The real power has always been in the hands of the army and of the secret services (the ISI). The president has plenty of power to enact domestic policies, but the army and the ISI have always been largely independent in deciding which wars to fight. USA president Obama met with Zardari, but that's the equivalent of a foreign leader getting assurances from Joe Biden while Obama is 10,000 kms away.
    Therefore the USA has a real problem in the region (and so does India), but it is not quite Afghanistan, unless the USA interprets the war in Afghanistan as a way to divide Taliban forces so that they cannot concentrate on conquering Pakistan. The real problem, ultimately, is represented by the nuclear weapons of Pakistan. Alas, denuclearizing the Indian subcontinent is off the table after the USA signed a nuclear treaty with India. There is no way that Pakistan would give up its nuclear weapons at a time when India is being rewarded for having them. And India needs them to counter the influence of China (see ( India vs China: a story of waking-up giants). The problem of Pakistan's nuclear weapons will not go away easily.
    In Iraq the USA forced Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds into an unstable federation. It rests to be seen whether it was a wise decision. It might be an even unwiser decision to keep Pakistan united. Pakistan is a British invention (the term "Pakistan" refers to the ethnic groups that were lumped together by Britain, i.e. Punjabis, Afghanis, Kashmiris, Sindhs, Balochis and, originally, also the Bengalis of Bangladesh). The central government of Islamabad has never had full control of the country. Baluchistan has had an independence struggle going on for decades. The wars against India and the proxy war in Afghanistan have cemented the nation but also spun off military powers that bypass the presidency. And now the Taliban have carved out their own little kingdom in the Swat mountains. It might just be that Pakistan would be a safer place if it split in a number of independent countries, with the nuclear weapons safely in the hands of the more democratic and secular western states (Punjab and Sindh) that comprise the biggest cities (Karachi with 13 million people, Lahore with 7 million, Faisalabad with 3 million, Rawalpindi with 2 million), leaving Balochistan (a traditionally secular region) independent as a buffer with Iran and the northwestern tribal regions independent as buffers with Afghanistan and China. It might also be that the USA will have no choice: Pakistan might just be falling apart precisely along those dividing lines.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2007 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (april 2009) The biggest crisis awaiting to explode. Pakistan is rapidly approaching the level of failed country. It now competes with Iraq and Afghanistan for number of suicide bombers. There are provinces both in the west and in the northwest that are virtually independent. The vast majority of Pakistanis lives in denial of the Islamist agenda to take over the whole country. And none of the previous problems have been solved by the new democratic government: corruption is still rampant, overpopulation is strangling whatever economic growth there is, Kashmir is still an unresolved conflict that makes it impossible to normalize relations with India, and the Pakistani Secret Services still acts like a shadow government that supports the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Pakistan is a nuclear power, and proudly the first Islamic country to detonate a nuclear bomb. If the fragile Pakistani government falls, the crisis will be an order of magnitude bigger than the fall of Afghanistan.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2007 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • Articles on Pakistan before 2009
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2009 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
    Back to the world news | Top of this page
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