Dr. Shakil Afridi, who helped CIA track bin Laden, sentenced for treason in Pakistan
The Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA hunt for Osama bin Laden was sentenced Wednesday to 33 years in prison for treason in an administrative action under colonial-era laws that avoided a public trial.
The move brought condemnation in Washington, where officials had been hoping to win freedom for Dr. Shakil Afridi, whom Pakistani intelligence agents detained three weeks after the May 2, 2011, U.S. special forces raid in the northern town of Abbottabad that ended in bin Laden’s death.
Let's cut to the chase. The answer is no. Pakistan should never have existed in the first place. There is no reason for it to continue to exist now.
The place to start here is with 'The Lunacy of a British Legacy' from July 2006, which gives you the background on Pakistan's creation, and that of the Taliban.
You could follow that up with Moslem Terrorist Drug Lords With Nukes from November 2007, which explains the Afghan heroin production as a joint operation between the Taliban and the ISI - the Pakistan military's InterServices Intelligence Agency - and how Afghan president Hamid Karzai and his family are in on the heroin take.
Mr. Karzai met with Mr. Zero in the White House yesterday (5/06), along with the leader of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari. All three men privately despise each other, and publicly professed mutual admiration and support.
Ostensibly, they were meeting because the Taliban are now destabilizing Pakistan as well as Afghanistan. You can be sure Zero did not insist on solving the heart of the Taliban problem, any more than did his predecessor. Mr. Bush refused to order Afghanistan's poppy fields be wiped out via high-altitude spraying of a micro-herbicide developed by DARPA. And so has Zero.
The poppy-killing fungus will cause the entire Afghan poppy crop (which supplies 90% of the world's heroin) to disappear for decades - with no other crop being affected. Doing so would wipe out the Taliban and the ISI financially. But as it would also wipe out lots of powerful folks on the take in the Afghan and Pak governments, it will not be used, and the Taliban will expand its power until it takes over both governments.
So let's talk about India instead. There are indications India is about to take matters into its own hands, with or without Washington's approval. This is particularly true since, as noted by former US ambassador to India Robert Blackwill in a speech in New Delhi this week (5/05), Zero is abandoning the efforts of George Bush to build a strong US-India relationship in favor of currying favor with China.
Pakistan is a make-believe country. Take a look at this official map which the Pak government delineates its borders:
First look at the area in the upper right labeled "Jammu & Kashmir." See that faint dotted line starting at the China border, goes across the area underneath Skardu and wraps around Srinigar? That's the real border: below it (Srinigar) is India, above it (Skardu) is Pak. The Skardu-Gilgit area is composed of ancient tribal peoples such as Baltits and Hunzukuts who just want to be left alone by the rest of the world, including Islamabad.
The NWFP, or North West Frontier Province is Pushtun, the same tribe that populates 42% of Afghanistan, forming that country's largest ethnic group. That nice dark line between Afghanistan and the NWFP, which Islamabad pretends is its border, is an illusion. There is no border, the entire region on both sides of it are Pushtun, and Islamabad has never exercised any control over it.
The pretend line continues, claiming to divide Afghanistan and Iran from the Pak province of Baluchistan, a huge region that takes up almost 45% of Pakistan yet contains only 10% of the country's population, mostly split between Pushtuns in the north and wild Baluchi nomads in the southern desert wastelands.
The Pak government has never controlled the Baluchis any more than the Pushtuns. It's all Apache country over which it has little real sovereignty.
So we come to the core of the country, Punjab and Sindh, and the unending hatred between Punjabis and Sindhis.
First a famous story that I can't resist relating. India, including what is now Pakistan, was created by the imperial British, and when the region of Sindh was conquered by British General Sir Charles Napier in 1842, he sent a one-word message back to Delhi headquarters announcing his victory: peccavi.
In those days, all British officers were classically educated, so they knew instantly what Napier was saying. Peccavi is Latin for "I have sinned." Napier had Sindh.
Sindh is a feudal region dominated by wealthy land-owning families (of which the Bhutto and Zardari families are among) who control the lives of 40 million poverty-stricken illiterate farmers.
It also contains Pakistan's largest city (12m) and business center, Karachi, where the Mohajirs are concentrated, the Indian Moslems who fled to Pakistan during 1947 Partition and their descendents. The hatred is mutual between them and native Sindhis.
While Sindhis are farmers ruled by a land-owning aristocracy and Mohajirs are business folk, Punjabis consider themselves warriors. Half the Pak population is Punjabi, some 80m. 90% of the Pak Army officer corps in Punjabi.
Not only is the Punjabi Pak military so politically powerful that , as Alex Alexiev observes this week in The Real Problem in Pakistan, "Pakistan is not a sovereign state with a military, but a sovereign military with a state at its disposal to use as it sees fit." It is that the Punjabi Pak military is so economically powerful that it controls most business activity like a mafia.
There is no way to untie this Gordian Knot of ethnic hatreds, fanatical stone-age Islamism, a heroin-smuggling mafia military, corruption at every level of society, feudal poverty, and an arsenal of nuclear weapons. The solution is to let India cut the Gordian Knot of Pakistan asunder.
This is tricky. India has no desire to conquer and absorb Pakistan, which would double the number of Moslems within it (there are 160 million Moslems in each). It needs to rather break the place apart into pieces.
The first object should be a quick in-and-out military operation to seize Pakistan's nukes. They are dispersed so it's complicated - and more so because there will be no help from the US military under Zero. So India will be smart about it and take advantage of the Pak military's greatest vulnerability: it's officers and key personnel are for sale, they can be bought.
The Punjabis have always looked upon Afghanistan as theirs, and the Pushtuns as barbarian inferiors. (The disgust is returned. The greatest insult a Pushtun parent can give a misbehaving child is: "Stop that - you're behaving as a Punjabi.") Simultaneously, they are in constant fear of Pushtuns on either side of the border joining together to form an independent "Pushtunistan."
Yet Pushtuns don't want their own political entity apart from Afghanistan. The solution is to move the border east, so that Afghanistan encompasses the NWFP and the Pushtun region of northern Baluchistan.
This is not difficult to broker. The Pushtuns would jump at the chance to be unified, and it would deny the Taliban of the fig leaf of a Pak sanctuary. After India seizes the Pak nukes and engenders a period of chaotic destabilization, India has Kabul claim all of Pushtunistan and the Pushtuns declare for it. The US military, commanded by David Petraeus, is then free to nail the Taliban with no concern over violating "Pakistan sovereignty."
During the same chaotic time, the Baluchis can get the independence from Islamabad they've fought decades for. The capital would be Quetta, and the Baluchis could make a go of it, as one of the world's largest gold and copper deposits is at Reko Diq in the west near Iran (it's being developed by the Australian mining giant BHP Billiton). Further, the Chinese have spent $2 billion developing the Baluchi port of Gwadar (spelled Gawadar on the map) with state-of-the-art import/export facilities.
What would be left is a rump state of Sindh-Punjab plus the Gilgit-Skardu northern territory. If the Sindhis and Punjabis and Mohajirs can get along sufficiently, they could still have a single country however reduced in size and power - for the chaos should be used to shrink concomitantly the size and power of the Punjabi Pak military.
Such a plan is being worked on right now at the South Block headquarters of the Indian Defense Ministry in New Delhi. The generals all realize now they have to act alone without America. It is the same situation that Israel is in regarding Iran. There is even some talk - for there is a great deal of communication between the Indian and Israeli militaries - of coordinating attacks, Israel upon Iran's nukes, Indian upon Pakistan's nukes, simultaneously.
"Your president would be like a deer in the headlights if this occurred," says one US-educated Defense Ministry fellow I know. "He'd be paralyzed."
Pakistan has become the world's most dangerous failed state. It needs to be disarmed and dismantled. Just like Iran. Working together and ignoring Zero, India and Israel may kill two nuclear birds with one cooperative stone.