Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Dodgy Pakistani Claim to Dodgy US conduct

Pakistan’s provincial government in the NE claimed that at least four foreign terrorists died in the US airstrike on a Pakistani border village. But CBS News Pakistan consultant Jere Van Dyk wisely said he didn’t believe the claim.

His disbelief is understandable as Pakistani officials have a habit (indeed an unofficial policy) to say anything to make the US happy. So, innocent villagers would metamorphose into notorious terrorists, especially foreign ones, for the purpose of convincing the Americans that, yes, they did it! Afterall, dead villagers couldn't disclaim the unmerited or foreign label.

The Pakistani ‘creativity’ has not been so much to brown-nose the Americans but to get the US off their backs. The US has consistently pressured the Pakistanis for more results and contribution in the war against terrorists.

Van Dyk said from that he had been advised by Pakistani reporters who also work for western agencies that no observer could simply establish that claim even if allowed at the scene. One would have to accept that the claim was one of convenient political appeasement.

Related to the airstrike, someone made a threatening phone call that was considered credible enough for the United Nations to close offices in Baluchistan in southwestern Pakistan. Apparently the warning came from al Qaeda who threatened to attack the UN offices.

Talat Masood, a retired Pakistani general and political analyst said that the arrogant and callous US airstrike killing villagers including women and children would undermine the fragile goodwill brought about by generous US relief aid after the devastating earthquake in October last year. He said that the outrage would only ‘consolidate’ anti-American sentiment.

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