Thursday, September 21, 2006

Another reason why Pakistan might not be the best ally.

Those foreign heads of state don't get out much. Since gathering in New York for the UN meeting this week, they've all been trying to grab a chunk of the spotlight on the world stage, making declarations that range from humourous (Chavez) to enlightening (Ahmadinejad). The latest one to get his 2 cents worth in was President Musharaff of Pakistan, in an interview he gave 60 Minutes.

In many ways, Pakistan seems to be a most hesitant friend. Their reluctance isn't without reason; it could have something to do with the delicate, nuanced negotiations with the US that led Pakistan to become an ally in the first place. Musharaff told 60 Minutes that the US threatened to "bomb Pakistan back to the stone age" if they declined the US invitation to join the "war on terror". The threat was apparently made by then-deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage to Musharaff's intelligence director. "Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the stone age" was how the US put it to Pakistan. "I think It was a very rude remark" said Musharaff.

Very rude, but unfortunately, also very typical. Musharaff should consider himself lucky not to have been forced to watch from a hole in the ground a statue of himself being toppled in Islamabad's town square.