Guardian: US Has Taken Over Pakistan

Posted by Web Editor on Dec 5th, 2010

Guardian: US Has Taken Over Pakistan

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 US Has Taken Over Pakistan


It is a measure of the Pakistani state’s weakness that the Americans apparently have such scope and leeway to influence and direct its affairs.



LONDON, UK—Pakistan was already under the American hammer before the WikiLeaks crisis blew. But leaked US diplomatic cables published by the Guardian show the extraordinary extent to which Pakistan is in danger of becoming a mere satrapy of imperial Washington.

The US assault on Pakistani sovereignty, which is how these developments are widely viewed in the country, is multipronged. At one end of the spectrum, in the sphere of “hard power”, US special forces are increasingly involved, in one way or another, in covert military operations inside Pakistan.

These troops are being used to help hunt down Taliban and al-Qaida fighters in the tribal areas and co-ordinate drone attacks, as revealed by the Guardian’s Pakistan correspondent, Declan Walsh. Their activities come in addition to previous air and ground cross-border raids; and to the quasi-permanent basing of American technicians and other personnel at the Pakistani air force base from which drone attacks are launched.

The US hand can be seen at work in Pakistan’s complex politics, with the standing and competence of President Asif Ali Zardari seemingly constantly under harsh review. At one point, the military chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, reportedly consults the US ambassador about the possibility of a coup, designed in part to stop the advance of the opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif.

At the same time, Pakistani diplomats are convinced the Americans are somehow trying to commandeer the country’s nuclear deterrent, which they see as its only real defence against India. And all this importunity is underpinned by “soft power”, by a reverse cash tribute from Washington to Islamabad, approaching $2bn a year. In a very real sense, the Americans buy their way in.

This sort of helpful meddling, or shameless intrigue, or outrageous interference – decide yourself what you want to call it – in the internal affairs of a sovereign country is supposed to have gone out of fashion with the retreat of the British empire and the end of the Raj.

But that was never true in reality, of course. All great powers intrude in pursuit of their own interests; it’s what they do – and picking up where the British left off, the US is no different. It is a measure of the Pakistani state’s weakness that the Americans apparently have such scope and leeway to influence and direct its affairs.

What is equally remarkable, however, is how little the Americans appear able, ultimately, to control their satraps. Zardari talks a good game but achieves little. Millions of US taxpayer dollars earmarked for fighting Islamist extremists allegedly disappear into government coffers, never to be seen again. Washington’s staunch Pakistani allies in the “war on terror” play both sides, maintaining their ties to friendly Taliban and the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group while simultaneously accepting America’s largesse. Being an imperialist is never easy.

So the Americans don’t get what they want. But neither do ordinary Pakistanis. The larger point is that Pakistan is suffering grievously, in terms of lives lost to terrorism; in soldiers and civilians killed and wounded in the campaigns against Pakistani Taliban in the tribal areas; in a ravaged economy, acute poverty and lack of education; and in the all but forgotten but still terrible aftermath of this year’s floods.

Pakistan needs less foreign interference, not more. And that applies to Arab jihadi fanatics as much as it does to imperious Americans. But on current trends the opposite is happening. The clear danger, highlighted by the leaked cables, is that the west’s unwinnable war in Afghanistan is spilling over into its weak, ill-led and much put-upon neighbour – and that Pakistan, too, could become a war zone. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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7 Responses for “Guardian: US Has Taken Over Pakistan”

  1. Parvez Amin says:

    You are right. There is no point in blaming others for your own weaknesses. We have the potential to make a secure and prosperous Pakistan. No one else can do that for us. We have to do it on our own.

  2. ISHQ says:

    Keep up the good work, Ahmed!
    You love your country, Pakistan. So do I, I dont have such effective words as you do, but I feel this pain in my heart and I hope, with all my will, that we will rise InshaAllah!

  3. Abbasi says:

    “US has taken over Pakistan” – Remember, when all the citizens are asleep, the dogs rule the streets!

  4. Tariq says:

    Muslims cannot do business with the west unless we have political leverage on them.
    They are hardwired into crusading against us.
    You cannot trust them. Those leaders that did, need to reexamine their beliefs and values. When we have independent power, linked with global reach into their own lands, that is when you can enagage them on our terms.
    Islam/ Muslim lands are specifically targetted by west, they exploit division, and always seek partition. They have built anti-islamic western psyche in their next generation. It IS a crusade.
    Iinformation control has duped even some of our leaders.
    We have been framed and penetrated by western values and have limited room to move. So maybe even our good leaders have limited powers.
    ** All of the problems discussed here are due to our inherrant vulnerability under crusading western capitalist democracy.**
    You cannot play their game, even if you reach level 2, that will raise alert and they will come to knock you down.
    This places muslims/Islam at the bottom of the pyramid from which you can never get up.
    Its not all doom and gloom, we can kick out the west and solve our problem if we practice the solutions in our own Deen.

  5. Tariq says:

    You psycho terrorist moron, go back home to your robot planet, whence your single brain cell was implanted

  6. Tariq says:

    seems like that ‘person’ took my advice, and was terminated, nice one editor :-)

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