When it comes to Pakistan, all the rules regarding proliferation and democracy have a new angle for the Western World. Sometimes silence, sometimes a harsh word immediately followed by generous finacial assistance has now become a standard Pakistani handshake protocol. Now that the General has refused to step down, the Commonwealth in a big bold move actually, as WaPo says scolded Pakistan. We don’t know if the General wet his pants laughing.
Colin Powell, the buddy of Musharraf was always reluctant to criticize him, and it seems the new Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice too has the same DNA. Recently speaking in Luxemborg, she said that Iran’s support of terrorism, nuclear ambitions and lack of democracy are out of step with trends in neighbouring nations notably Pakistan.
Daniel Larison writes
We should remember that Musharraf seized power because of his frustration with the insufficiently militant stance of the Sharif government over Kashmir, which Pakistan was infiltrating in force in the Kargil region in 1999. There has been relatively little improvement in Indo-Pak relations since the near-war in 2002, and it would not be all together too biased to say that, were it not for Indian forebearance and goodwill, even these improvements would have been impossible.
It has been Pakistan’s basic foreign policy for at least the last 15 years to support Islamic fundamentalists along its borders, using them as cat’s paws against their main rivals, thus avoiding any further humiliating defeats at the hands of India’s military or direct confrontations with the Iranians. Within the last three and a half years, during which Pakistan has supposedly been doing so much to curb extremism, terrorists based in Pakistan organised and carried out the stunning attack on India’s parliament in Dec. 2001, and this was hardly the last attack in northern India by Pakistani terrorists. To ignore this sponsorship of terrorism by a principal ally is a blunder in terms of legitimate American interests and the egregious double standard our government has for Pakistan-based terrorism has not gone unnoticed in India. [Rice Foolishly Praises Pakistan]
I heard on her first trip abroad, the Secretary of State gifted some atlases to the correspondents traveling with her so that they would know the countries they were traveling to. A proper gift for Dr. Rice would be a good history book on Pakistan.