What should be our Pakistan policy?

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Mon May 18 17:09:30 UTC 2009

What should be our Pakistan policy?

M. Orhan Tarhan May 16, 2009Pakistan is now the most burning and the
most dangerous foreign policy problem faced by the Obama government.
We must understand the problem, we must define it correctly so that we
may come up with the correct policies.

What kind of people are the Pakistanis? Some British-educated people
are good enough to make the atomic bomb , but the majority are
ignorant. The literacy is given as 35 % but it is not clear how they
define Literacy. Most schools are Madrassas , where youngsters ( only
boys) study the Koran in Arabic. Pakistanis have their own languages,
that contain many Arabic words, but they could not understand the
Arabic texts of the 7th Century Koran. Thus, they study something they
do not understand.

This of course cannot be called education. In 1970, all Pakistani
educational institutions were nationalized by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto but
these reforms were called :A drop in the bucket". The youngsters get a
thorough brain-washing and leave the Madrassa without the slightest
knowledge they can use to live in the 21st century. I heard President
Musharraf say that he built some secular schools, but they too were "a
drop in the bucket"

The lives of this uneducated mass are guided mainly by religion.
Unlike Christianity, Islam is a complete way of life. The combination
of ignorance and this kind of "Total" religion creates an intolerant
and anti-Western population. Extremist Mullahs fill these people with
hatred toward the non-Muslims, especially towards the West

After 9/11, U.S. forces had defeated the Taliban, but soon enough
President Bush concentrated our military forces in Iraq and gave the
Taliban time to resurrect and build significant forces in Afghanistan.
Now American plus NATO forces together are having a hard time
containing them. Now the Taliban is beginning to occupy part of
Pakistan. The Democratic leaders of Pakistan behave like pussy cats in
stead of facing them and chasing them out. The Pakistani army is at
the Indian border. And the rest is too week to deal with the Taliban.
The Democratic government in Islamabad made agreements with the
Governor of the Swat Valley, that is 100 miles from Islamabad. If he
would control the Taliban, the Government would accept that the strict
version of sharia be implemented in that province. They are leaving
this province without a fight. That is partial surrender. But the
Governor did not keep his word. He did not control the Taliban. Last
week the Taliban came to Buner, that is only 60 miles from Islamabad.
However, as soon as the agreement was announced, all professional
women, such as doctors and nurses ,and most of the other woman
population left the province.

The ruling party and the Army are afraid more from India than from the
Taliban Pakistan has a half-million Army deployed along the India
border. That is easy. Counter insurgency is tough. That is
unbelievable. Since when do armies are given a choice of that kind?
Don´t they understand that they are facing an existential threat? If
they delay some more in moving their army from the border with India,
they may not have any country to defend.

These events worry President Obama and his administration, because if
the Taliban should take the rest of Pakistan, their nuclear force (
about 100 nuclear heads ) will get into the Taliban´s hands, that
plans to share it with Al Qaeda. It will create very serious problems
for the U.S and for the West in general.

In one respect, we the U.S., are partly responsible for this bad
result. Our governments have never learned that democracy required
educated peoples, that there can be no democracy for an ignorant
population. We had several fiascos lately because of this ignorance of
our politicians. There was a pretty good government in Palestine. We
insisted on democracy and got Hamas. In Iraq we insisted in democracy,
the elected parliament could not function for years. In Egypt,
President Mubarak has been doing a good job, There too we insisted on
democracy. Mubarak refused it, because he knew that democracy would
bring the Muslim Brothers and Egypt would become for us enemy
territory. All these fiascos should have been enough to learn a
lesson. We did not, We pushed Musharraf out. Now we have democracy. We
really deserved this result.

The Obama government is planning to offer counterinsurgency training
to Pakistan´s troops outside of Pakistan. They do not want to see any
American boots in Pakistan. The U.S. is trying to find funding for it
and a country that will accept our "boots". The Chief of General
Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen is "alarmed".

Pakistan´s fundamental problems cannot be solved over night, even if
the right measures are taken. It will still take over a long time. For
now we should do our best to keep the peace there. But we should begin
to help Pakistan the right way.

The best thing we can do for them in the long run is to educate them,
to bring them to the 21st century. We should build in Pakistan as many
secular schools as possible, in which the Pakistani language,
mathematics, sciences, world history and geography, and at 12th grade,
philosophy are taught. At the same time we should get the Pakistani
government to close the madrassas, so that their buildings can be used
in building secular schools. When enough graduates of secular schools
are available, Pakistan will stop being a problem for the world.

But , will there be time left to educate them? Just today there were
reports of Pakistani troops attacking the Taliban to free Buner. There
is no word of these troops´ strength. We should do all we can to save
Pakistan as a sane country, but if most of the Army still remains
stuck at the border with India, and the Taliban takes over
everything., we must now take all the precautions to assure the safety
of the nuclear arsenal , and if that does not work, we should be
prepared to deny nuclear armsto the Taliban, not in words, but with
deeds. Anything else would be suicide.


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