M A I N   N E W S

Pak called ‘client state for sale to highest bidder’
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 21
True to the American sense of timing, as Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf prepares to meet US President George W. Bush tomorrow, a leading American daily has described Pakistan as a “client state for sale to the highest bidder”.

The Wall Street Journal carried a stinging article on September 19 queerly entitled “Musharrafistan” wherein the author, Mansoor Ijaz, says Pakistan has lost its identity and calls on General Musharraf to “stop being all things to all people”. The author’s brief counsel to the General is to step down from power.

Ijaz’s most relevant observation, from the Indian point of view, is that General Musharraf is continuing to court Iranian mullahs in the hope of building an Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline “that could fund the revival of insurgency in Kashmir”.

The author has a long list of advice for General Musharraf, including that he should end his “hypocritical alliance” with Islamist activists; change the direction of the country’s nuclear programme; build a real economy that integrates Pakistan into the world; and construct real peace, not mirages that mask tension.

Ijaz has lambasted the deal that the Musharraf regime recently signed with north Waziristan tribal chiefs and described the Waziristan agency as a “state within a state” and a haven for the “worst enemies” of the civilised world.

The author makes an acidic comment on Pakistan-Afghanistan relations when he calls General Musharraf’s recent trip to Kabul an “exercise in damage control”. The government of President Hamid Karzai has for the past more than an year openly accused Pakistan of orchestrating a proxy war against it.

Ijaz talks of the lopsided approach of the Pakistan Government which has been funnelling billions of dollars into development of a nuclear arsenal while not finding enough money to feed its children. This, according to the author, is the prime reason why many of Pakistani children are destined to be terrorists.

The Wall Street Journal describes Ijaz as “a New York financier with Pakistani ancestry”.



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