Pakistan: a failed nation

By Mel Wilde

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani blames the United States for the deteriorating relations between the two countries.  That Osama Bin Laden lived in Pakistan in obvious comfort for so many years has been forgotten.  Lost as well is the memory of this evil man’s leadership in the killing of thousands of innocent people from South East Asia, London, Spain and other places that span the globe including New York City.

We probably will never know why Bin Laden chose the residence at Abbottabad. We do know that he was not “on the run” as most high profile killers usually are.  The compound itself is actually in Bilal Town in the Abbottabad district, which is less than one and a half kilometres from the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul.

To suggest that no Pakistani official knew of Bin Laden’s presence is more than ludicrous, it’s insulting to his victims around the world.   He lived in that compound with his wives, children, supporters and guards since 2005 or 2006.  Being that close to Pakistan’s Military Academy for so many years without anyone knowing…well that is just not believable.

The area itself has been a militant transit hub for a long time. Indeed, sources tell us that a large amount of suspicious activity had been observed  and reported over quite a few years.  Still, we need to keep in mind that no organization in Pakistan is monolithic.

Pakistan’s army and the infamous security agency “ISI” have been known to be crowded with rogue agents and officers.  It is believable that he could have had a fully functioning support system within the ranks of these organizations without the leadership being fully aware

Pakistan’s governments have been hotbeds of intrigue, corruption and duplicity since they first broke away from India. Added to that confusing malaise has been the international players such as China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia and the good old USA.

Sometimes these governments cooperate and sometimes they don’t.  Last January, Umar Patek (aka Umar Arab) was arrested in Abbotabad and Al-Libi was caught in Mardan in 2005.  Khalid Sheik Mohammed was picked up in Rawalpindi in 2004 while Abu Zubaydah was captured as far back as 2002.

Pakistan officials have such a complicated web of intrigue and duplicity that it’s sometimes impossible to tell which side they are on.  They are masters of playing foreign countries off against each other as long as they profit themselves.

At the moment, because the United States had to go it alone to get Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan is courting China.  The Chinese of course welcome the opportunity to make gains anywhere in the world.

There are some lessons that Canadians can learn from watching the intrigue. First and foremost is that because someone we think is a dictator is booted out of office, voting in an even more dangerous bunch of scoundrels hasn’t changed reality for the people.

The mass killings have gone unabated regardless of who was in power.  I have watched on secret video as a twelve year old boy was taught how to behead a man while the villagers shouted and cheered encouragement.

Second, we can and should assume that many world powers from China to Venezuela will be playing their game to shape the world into what they want.

Third, there are never any spontaneous demonstrations or attacks in that part of the world.  They are all carefully organized, controlled and violence is planned.

Finally, when we hear Canadian politicians claiming the moral high ground as we did when Jack Layton praised some of the bad guys in that part of the world, we need to take their verbiage with a bucket of salt.

If Pakistan didn’t have a stock pile of nuclear weapons and the means of delivery, I would suggest that we abandon them to their own fate.  Alas, they have the bomb and they are masters of intrigue.

So it is, that easy answers to the Pakistan mess are not available and thus we are forced to stick handle our way through complex world games…I am told that’s what diplomacy really is about!