For seven years the Bush administration has pursued a policy in Afghanistan of killing “militants” on the assumption if you kill enough of them the others will disappear. A few days ago, another US missile strike killed British militant who was linked to a jetliner bombing plot. Every time a US missile strike in Pakistan kills a militant, there are protests by Pakistanis against American military action on their soil. The Pakistan government insists these constant missile strikes may kill some militants but they also undermine the authority of the nation’s government and play into the hands of militants who wish to overthrow the democratically elected leaders and install a fundamentalist Islamic government.
There is not question some militants are being killed, but will that result in a change within al-Qaeda or the Taliban. A strategy based on killing leaders is doomed to failure because it is in the nature of a domestic movement for other leaders to emerge. Killing militants without a program of financial support to create a modern Pakistan education system or to stimulate jobs and economic growth will only result in dead militants and a dead society that is ripe to be overthrown by followers of the dead militants.
The attempted assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto is apparently just one story in a never ending violence which is enveloping Pakistant. While Pakistani security forces attacked a cleric’s stronghold, nearby insurgents kidnapped eight police from a bus. About 2,500 soldiers took part in the assault on cleric Maulana Faziullah’s stronghold which is one of many such encampments where insurgents are trained to conduct attacks on Pakistan soldiers and society. Residents observed security forces firing rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and other weapons at the cleric’s forces. Militants carried out the ambush of the soldiers and fired on a helicopter carrying a general. Yesterday, a suicide car bomber hit a truck carrying troops and killed 19 soldiers and wounded 35.
The violence continues unabated in Pakistan raising fears if the present Musharraf-Bhutto alliance is capable of restoring some semblance of law and order to the nation. Benazir Bhutto claims to represent the moderate middle ground in Pakistan that wants democracy and a government capable of stimulating the economy and providing work opportunities for the masses. In her previous shot at being prime minister, Bhutto used the office to help family and friends accumulate millions of dollars through corruption. Has she learned anything during her exile? Is she capable of creating a government of the people and for the people?
Posted in Asia, Islam, Military, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, War, World News
Tagged Bhutto, Musharraf, Pakistan clerics, pakistan militants