Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Theories on Pakistan Attack

The Asia Times has an interesting article speculating on the motivations behind the January bombing in Bajur by the US that killed 18 civilians and no al Qaeda leadership. It's worth a read but here are the concluding paragraphs:

"The Bajur attack is more political than military," said former ISI chief Gul. "On one side it carried a message that they [the Americans] would play their game of 'war on terror' on their terms, and would destroy their enemies, even on Pakistani soil. The killing of Nek Mohammed, Hamza Rabia and the current incident of Bajur are examples.

"However, there is reverse swing [an unexpected angle] in this game," said Gul. "The Americans cannot get any concrete evidence on Iran's nuclear program [that it plans to build nuclear weapons], and without such evidence they will not take the matter to the [United Nations] Security Council. They have been pressing hard on Pakistan to hand over Dr A Q Khan for interrogation because they understand that this is the only way to get evidence on Iran's nuclear program. So apparently they are trying to put Pakistan in a serious quagmire by giving it the option to either bear constant air strikes in Pakistani territory or hand over Dr Khan," Gul maintained.

"At the same time, to further strangulate Musharraf, they are once again beating the drum of democracy. Now there are clear voices from Washington in favor of democracy in Pakistan. I recall a situation in which the late Pakistani premier, Mohammed Khan Junejo, visited the US [in 1986], and when he returned, his attitude towards the late [dictator] General Zia ul-Haq changed. To me, Shaukat Aziz' [present] US visit, given the current situation, is of significance and we will have to see what secret message he brings back with him," Gul said.


Roman said...

I have no idea if this speculation is close to the truth or not but this phrase seemed very ironic:
"At the same time, to further strangulate Musharraf, they [US] are once again beating the drum of democracy". Recently the "drum of democracy" produced Hamas in Palestine... Talking about strangulation... :)

Howard said...

Exactly. The Hamas thing will be very interesting. I suspect it will be a disaster, but there's a chance that being in power and being responsible for the negotiates of all the aid the Palestinians get might temper them.

Then again, there are those that thought the close 2004 election might temper Bush.

Roman said...

Yeah... not mentioning that Israelis may have trouble adjusting to, potentially but unlikely, new and improved Hamas, the organization that yesterday blew up their buses and all... I can't imagine my government, for example, dealing with such a party. We will see what develops.

Howard said...

Don't forget, the PLO and Arafat had a past.

Roman said...

Yup, perhaps one of the reasons why it took huge efforts to get Sharon and Arafat in the state of *sort-of* communicating... in those moments when Arafat was allowed out of his building. It is all complicated, of course. However, it was bad foundation to build upon... and not much was achieved at the end.