Monday, November 12, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Pervez spits venom; peddles lies, half-truths
Hari Jaisingh

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee discusses with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami in New York on Saturday. 

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides in New York on Saturday. — PTI photos

New York, November 11
The ugly face of Pakistan came to the fore yet again on Saturday when Gen Pervez Musharraf addressed the United Nations General Assembly.

As expected, the self-appointed Pakistan President’s speech had the usual anti-India venom. Arrogance was writ large on his face as he twisted facts and redefined terrorism to cover up his "own sins" in Jammu and Kashmir committed in the name of "jehad" with the active participation of the Taliban — the illegitimate “shaitan” created by the military regime of Islamabad.

The Pakistan dictator shamelessly rewrote the blood-soaked history of Kashmir by dubbing India’s anti-terrorist operation as "state terrorism" to mislead Mr Bush and the world community. How the USA will digest these new lies remains to be seen.

A diplomat observed that looking at General Musharraf’s new formulation on Jammu and Kashmir, it will not come as a surprise if he dubs the US counter-strikes against international terrorism in Afghanistan as "America’s state terrorism."

As it is, the George Bush administration knows what is what, but for the present it needs Pakistan’s help for the counter-strikes against Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

For this purpose, President Bush was more than generous in distributing money and favours to the military dictator who has shown that for power and funds he will take "U- turns" as and when desired by his sponsors.

At the joint press conference of General Musharraf and President Bush, the American President assured Pakistan of $ 1 billion assistance.

Mr Bush also promised to stop the march of the Northern Alliance well short of the Afghan capital till the formation of a composite, broad-based government is in place. He held out the promise of bringing Pakistan and India together to resolve their problems.

Pakistan’s new posture is bound to add to the difficulties of the USA as geopolitical compulsions leave no tactical choice for the Bush administration in Washington but to take Pakistan along.

At the same time the USA is unlikely to abandon building a strategic partnership with India in the military and economic spheres.

It seems President Bush will have to do considerable tightrope walking in conducting his diplomatic affairs in the Indian subcontinent.

Diplomatic circles here do acknowledge that General Musharraf is a shrewd operator and manipulator. Like Hitler he knows the art of playing with lies and half truths to look "credible, stable, effective, visionary and courageous" as a grateful President Bush described him for the benefit of the media in New York.

Ironically, the USA has pointed out a number of times that the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan is spreading the Talibanised version of terrorism in Afghanistan and Jammu and Kashmir.

In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Michael Sheehan, who was the US coordinator for counter-terrorism in the US State Department, expressed concern over Pakistan’s support to terrorist groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir. Accepting reports of Pakistan’s material support to the Hizbul Mujahideen, Sheehan had stated that terrorists believed they would find a safe haven by getting back to Pakistan.

Similarly, General Musharraf is looking for a safe haven under the US umbrella in the face of mounting problems. This assumes significance especially as Pakistan President’s Talibanised supporters view his support to the USA in the war against international terrorism as a great betrayal.Back

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