Cynthia McFadden of Nightline was allowed unprecedented access to Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf after the London Bomb blasts. Through her report we come to know that everyday morning he has breakfast with his mother and she gives no advice to him since he requires none. Then he goes about the daily job of making sure Pakistan is run properly. During the day, Musharraf turns to McFadden and describes all the things he is doing and produces sound bites for the media. So he innocently asks why Pakistan is being blamed for all the bomb blasts in London and tears start rolling out of our eyes.
Here is a gentleman, who has breakfast with his mother regularly being accused of breeding terrorists. What a sacrilege. That whole report (available via iTunes Podcast) reminded me of Suketu Mehta’s glorifying tribute to the gangsters of Mumbai in his excellent book Maximum City. But now the Pakistani connection is turning up at every single terrorist activity in the world whether it be the murder of school children in Kashmir, innocent civilians in London or tourists in Egypt
“Al-Qaeda does not exist in Pakistan any more,” he told reporters in Lahore, after unconfirmed reports Pakistanis were being sought over bombs in Egypt.
President Musharraf said al-Qaeda “sanctuaries” in Pakistan had been over-run, and that Pakistani security forces had arrested 700 of the movement’s fighters.[Al-Qaeda ‘destroyed in Pakistan‘]
There is no reason to suspect this man’s statement. After all he is the ally in the war on terror. If he says Al-Qaeda does not exist in Pakistan, it certainly does not. Only some people may disagree with Musharraf – people who actually attended the terrorist camps, like the young man from Lodi, California.
Although Pakistani officials insist they’ve cleaned out al-Qaida training camps in their country, a young Lodi man told FBI agents in June he spent six months in such a camp near Rawalpindi in 2003-04, according to federal court documents.
Hamid Hayat said he “observed hundreds of attendees from various parts of the world at this camp,” his FBI interrogator wrote in the documents.
But Hayat, 22, and his father, Lodi ice cream vendor Umer Hayat, told the FBI of a half-dozen other young Lodi men who received jihadi training in Pakistan, the documents state. Umer Hayat, 47, also said he toured several other training camps and observed training in weaponry and urban warfare, says an affidavit filed in the case.[Pakistan a hotbed for terror recruits]
The graduates of these camps and the associated madrassas are wreaking havoc around the world. Some of these graduates have been streaming into India like ants, to face bullets from the Indian Army. When the Indian Prime Minister spoke that such acts of terror could destabilize the peace process, they were dismissed as allegations. But even as the body count and the number of countries looking for Pakistani suspects are increasing, these Pakistani denials are being taken as the final word.
How many more people should die before Musharraf is asked to clean up his country?