For example, in a recent email The Poet said:
Yet another link between terrorist threats and Pakistan! No one should be surprised. It would appear that Pakistani authorities cooperated with MI5 or whoever, facilitating the operation in the UK. OK, let’s allow that and give thanks to Musharraf. If Pakistan gains a government of militant Islam, a possibility made more likely by Iraq, Israel’s continuing attacks on Lebanon and the hysterical attacks on Islam being made by the christian right in the USA (eg the influential Pastor Hagee has proclaimed that the attack on Lebanon is god’s will, to be applauded and encouraged as a precursor to the looming apocalypse), the cooperation (such as it is) will cease. The next generation of terrorist attack will go beyond the ingenious use of liquid mixes to nuclear. A Pakistani government of militant Islam will facilitate rather than cooperate, one imagines.
Ironically, we might find ourselves looking to China to be the force for moderation, a voice of reason in the ear of Pakistani extremism… — Fri, 11 Aug 2006.
I refer, of course, to Pakistan missing link in extremist battle by Paul Richter in Washington in today’s Sydney Morning Herald.
…While General Musharraf has helped the US fight some terrorist organisations in his country, he has done little to halt others, or bring to justice the government officials who support them. Yet the US, pressing General Musharraf for help on a number of fronts, fears that pushing the weak leader of an unstable, nuclear-armed government too far could make matters worse…
Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, Ramzi Binalshibh, who managed the attack, and Abu Zubeida, al-Qaeda’s one-time operations director, were all captured in Pakistan. “They’ve put their blood and treasure on the line in the war on terrorism,” a State Department official said on Friday. “They’re a partner.”
US and British authorities have strongly praised the Pakistani authorities, who arrested as many as 17 suspects, for their help in the alleged plot. But General Musharraf has baulked at other US requests, denying access, for example, to the Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program was a key figure in the spread of nuclear secrets around the world…
The Poet and I have been rattling on about this for some time, as you may see by searching Big Archive 2005 to April 2006. See also New Statesman – Inside Islam’s ‘terror schools’, where I quote from William Dalrymple:
I asked [Pervez] Hoodbhoy about his prognosis for the future.
“I am very anxious,” he said. “The state educational system has reached the point of collapse. The only long-term solution has to be improved secular government schools: at the moment they are so bad that even where they exist, no one will willingly go to them.
“But the biggest problem we have,” he continued, “is the US. Their actions in Iraq and Afghanistan have hugely strengthened the hands of the extremists and depleted the strength of those who want to see a modern, non-fundamentalist future for this country. Before the invasion of Iraq, I called the US ambassador and warned her: if you attack Saddam, you may gain Iraq, but you’ll lose Pakistan. I hope I was wrong — but I fear that I may yet be proved right.”