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Zardari Claims That ‘Pakistan Did Its Part’

From the President Of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari (aka Mr. Benazir Bhutto), via the opinion pages of the Washington Post:

Pakistan did its part

By Asif Ali Zardari, Monday, May 2, 2011

Pakistan, perhaps the world’s greatest victim of terrorism, joins the other targets of al-Qaeda — the people of the United States, Britain, Spain, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Turkey, Yemen, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Algeria — in our satisfaction that the source of the greatest evil of the new millennium has been silenced, and his victims given justice. He was not anywhere we had anticipated he would be, but now he is gone.

Lest we forget, we were told by our political leaders and their news media that it was vitally important to replace the evil and corrupt Pervez Musharraf with Benazir Bhutto.

Although the events of Sunday were not a joint operation, a decade of cooperation and partnership between the United States and Pakistan led up to the elimination of Osama bin Laden as a continuing threat to the civilized world. And we in Pakistan take some satisfaction that our early assistance in identifying an al-Qaeda courier ultimately led to this day.

And for at least six years of that "decade" Bin Laden was living across the street from a police station in a town full of Pakistan military. In fact, Bin Laden’s compound is situated less than a half mile from Pakistan’s ‘West Point.’

Let us be frank. Pakistan has paid an enormous price for its stand against terrorism. More of our soldiers have died than all of NATO’s casualties combined. Two thousand police officers, as many as 30,000 innocent civilians and a generation of social progress for our people have been lost.

And for me, justice against bin Laden was not just political; it was also personal, as the terrorists murdered our greatest leader, the mother of my children. Twice he tried to assassinate my wife. In 1989 he poured $50 million into a no-confidence vote to topple her first government.

We should also recall that in her days as Prime Minister of Pakistan, back in the mid to late 1990s, Ms. Bhutto was instrumental in forming and funding the Taliban in Afghanistan.

She said that she was bin Laden’s worst nightmare — a democratically elected, progressive, moderate, pluralistic female leader. She was right, and she paid for it with her life.

Some in the U.S. press have suggested that Pakistan lacked vitality in its pursuit of terrorism, or worse yet that we were disingenuous and actually protected the terrorists we claimed to be pursuing. Such baseless speculation may make exciting cable news, but it doesn’t reflect fact. Pakistan had as much reason to despise al-Qaeda as any nation. The war on terrorism is as much Pakistan’s war as as it is America’s. And though it may have started with bin Laden, the forces of modernity and moderation remain under serious threat.

The Pakistan government says the same things about Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the militant group blamed for the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai and countless other terrorist acts over the decades.

Despite the fact that the LeT, just like the Taliban, was nurtured by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency. And despite the undeniable fact that the LeT is to this day ‘tolerated’ by Pakistan, even though it was officially banned from the country in 2002.

My government endorses the words of President Obama and appreciates the credit he gave us Sunday night for the successful operation in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa. We also applaud and endorse the words of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that we must “press forward, bolstering our partnerships, strengthening our networks, investing in a positive vision of peace and progress, and relentlessly pursuing the murderers who target innocent people.”

Lest we forget, at the time of her death, Hillary Clinton claimed to have been extremely close to Ms. Bhutto. Apparently, they had lunch together — once. But the operative word here is "investing." Mr. Zardari does not want the US to stop sending Pakistan $1.7 billion dollars year in and year out.

And never mind that Mr. Zardari has spent several years in jail on charges of corruption. Indeed, he is so notoriously corrupt he is known as ‘Mister 10%.’ And according to reports, he has the Swiss bank account to prove it.

We have not yet won this war, but we now clearly can see the beginning of the end, and the kind of South and Central Asia that lies in our future.

Only hours after bin Laden’s death, the Taliban reacted by blaming the government of Pakistan and calling for retribution against its leaders, and specifically against me as the nation’s president.

Funny, but we have not seen any such reports.

We will not be intimidated. Pakistan has never been and never will be the hotbed of fanaticism that is often described by the media.

Radical religious parties have never received more than 11 percent of the vote. Recent polls showed that 85 percent of our people are strongly opposed to al-Qaeda. In 2009, when the Taliban briefly took over the Swat Valley, it demonstrated to the people of Pakistan what our future would look like under its rule — repressive politics, religious fanaticism, bigotry and discrimination against girls and women, closing of schools and burning of books.

Lest we forget, Mr. Zardari and the Pakistan government basically gave the Taliban the Swat Valley in the hopes of placating them. It didn’t work.

Those few months did more to unite the people of Pakistan around our moderate vision of the future than anything else possibly could.

A freely elected democratic government, with the support and mandate of the people, working with democracies all over the world, is determined to build a viable, economic prosperous Pakistan that is a model to the entire Islamic world on what can be accomplished in giving hope to our people and opportunity to our children.

In reality, Mr. Zardari is only in office because he inherited his position from his martyred wife. Such is the Middle East way.

We can become everything that al-Qaeda and the Taliban most fear — a vision of a modern Islamic future. Our people, our government, our military, our intelligence agencies are very much united. Some abroad insist that this is not the case, but they are wrong. Pakistanis are united.

We would agree. Except we would chose the word ‘complicit’ rather than "united."

Together, our nations have suffered and sacrificed. We have fought bravely and with passion and commitment. Ultimately we will prevail. For, in the words of my martyred wife Benazir Bhutto, “truth, justice and the forces of history are on our side.”

The writer is the president of Pakistan.

Notice that Mr. Zardari wrote his plea in the hometown newspaper of those who hold the purse strings.

‘Mister 10%’ wants to keep those billions rolling in.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Zardari Claims That ‘Pakistan Did Its Part’”

  1. artboyusa

    Pakistan “did its part”? Yes, they certainly did. Their part consists of taking money from us and money from them and playing both ends against the middle and laughing at us all the way to their secret accounts in Zurich. This game has been going on long enough and everyone’s pretended it hasn’t been happening but now its all blatantly, nakedly out in the open and the question is what do we do with our so-called “ally”?

    For me, we should suspend all “aid” payments and all other cooperation and training forthwith and make their resumption contingent on results. Give us some heads on some sticks and you get paid. If not, not. And we get to pick who the heads are because we can’t trust you. And you can close those Saudi-funded Wahabbi madrassahs. And we’ll have the keys to those nuke sites too, please. If you’re not happy with these new arrangements, go see if your pal Osama will cut you a better deal. Oh, he’s unavailable? Too bad…

    • Helena

      “And you can close those Saudi-funded Wahabbi madrassahs.”

      Hell frikkin yes. It’s a scandal that we haven’t long ago made that a condition to our BILLIONS in “aid’ — by which we mean fattening senior govt. officials’ retirement funds. Perhaps we should also insist that if they want their $$, the Palestinians stop making “I Hate Jews, You Hate Jews, We All Hate Jews!” kids TV shows. Just a thought.




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