Pakistan’s Mercenary Elites
By M. Shahid Alam
In Pakistan today we encounter a paradox crying for an explanation; it is a paradox, moreover, whose exploration can bring some clarity to the predicament of the Islamicate today.
In January 2002, when President George Bush defined his near-term agenda for waging wars, he fixed his sights on Iraq, Iran and North Korea: the ‘axis of evil,’ marked for regime change. These countries were targeted – we were told – because they were developing ‘weapons of mass destruction.’ In the case of Iraq and Iran, this was only a cover. More likely, the two countries were targeted because they opposed Israeli hegemony. Perhaps, too, the US wanted their oil.
Oddly, Pakistan was not targeted for regime change. Yes, Pakistan has no oil. But the US-Israel axis could find her culpable on several other counts, each quite damnable. Pakistan is the only Islamicate country to possess nuclear weapons; she was guilty of nuclear proliferation; she was the chief patron of the Taliban regime; she has been accused by India of supporting cross-border terrorism in Kashmir; and, on the first two counts, Israel could tag Pakistan as the most serious threat to her security. Why was Pakistan not being targeted?
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