Dr Shahid Qureshi:-
Assassination of Benazir Bhutto served many purposes to the players who want Pakistan in turmoil and chaos? Was it a friendly fire? The speed of war of words against Pakistan is enormous and certain lobbies are putting their full weight to de-stabilize Pakistan.
Those who say just because terrorists have attacked President Musharaf of Pakistan therefore, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are not safe must check their brain’s functioning. US Presidents John F Kennedy was killed on a road and Ronald Regan was shot in the street, Yahizk Rabin President of Israel was shot dead in a rally, Prime Minster Indera Gandhi was shot by her guards and Prime Minister Rajiv Ghandi was killed in a suicide attack by a Tamil Hindu terrorist. All the above are nuclear powers so shall we say their Nukes are unsafe? It sound like ‘fox and the lamb’ story?
Benazir Bhutto was surrounded and mostly influenced by non-political actors who had their loyalties signed outside Pakistan? These are the players who want every thing from Western support to bring them in power, education, cloths, and cars but don’t want western freedom of speech, values, respect of poor people. In most democratic countries media, political and campaign advisers are mostly highly qualified professionals and not party loyalists. That is the crucial point when opportunists and power greedy politicians do not give advice to their leader as happened in Benazir Bhutto’s case. Nobody told Benazir not to open the soft rooftop of a bomb/bullet proof car because she could get hurt? One must understand that how one mistake, one violation of security rule could jeopardise one’s life. Bullet-proof cars and foreign trained bodyguards can only reduce the risks but cannot rule out dangers?
Beneficiaries and opportunists who wanted to get to the power through her surrounded Benazir. What was the point of travelling with people who could not give warning about risks? How can these incompetent passengers of Benzair’s car trusted for top job? Critics say they were waiting lioness to kill for them so they could enjoy the fruits of power and flagged cars as they did in the past? People say Influence and interference of Rehman Malik and Sherry Rehman made many PPP circles angry? Many believe both are dodgy characters? Rehman Malik himself is owner of a private Spy Agency in London obviously with foreign staff.
People say keeping in view what happened to Benazir, one could bet that Altaf Hussain is not going to return to Pakistan for another millennium? Well if you are frightened of seasickness best place to avoid is to sit under a tree, like Altaf Hussain and his gang sitting in a phone call centre in London?
Stephen Cohen, from The Brookings Institution wrote on December 27, 2007, after Benazir death, “I fear for Pakistan. Its further decay will affect all of its neighbors, Europe and the United States in unpredictable and unpleasant ways. Will it be a death blow? Can Pakistan recover as a state and as a society? It is hard to be optimistic. As I wrote in “The Idea of Pakistan” in 2003, Pakistan will face a fundamental crisis in five or six years, Benazir Bhutto’s assassination may bring that about sooner than later”.
Stephen Cohen stated “When she and her husband came to the Brookings Institution just before she departed for Pakistan, she stated a need to restore her contacts with the Pakistani people. She also displayed a far more realistic understanding of Pakistan’s problems and the importance of reform.”
A senior London based Military Analyst stated, “enemies (of Pakistan) Steve Cohen included – want to turn political dissent into inter-provincial ethnic/sectarian polarisation. No one seems to perceive the true nature of the danger; no one seems to be able to show leadership that such times require. But the elections are neither the problem nor the solution; they are an opportunity.”
A Washington based military analyst responded to Stephen Cohen that, “Pakistan has endured many tragic events in the past. Pakistan is not as delicate as some of our cynical American friends tend to believe and the Pakistani people are far more resilient than the best estimates of our many detractors. We will rise to the occasion and overcome this challenge. Steve may plan another of his books on another of his predicted crises but he may well be disappointed. Benazir’s assassination is a big national loss but the mischievous suggestions of hidden hands – this time Steve has not followed the popular formula of blaming everything on the ISI and has obliquely blamed the retired intelligence officials – probably the same who were nurtured and tutored by the CIA during the ‘Afghan JIHAD’. Could he for a while also look around and point a finger at other intelligence agencies operating in the country including RAW – who would naturally have an interest in destabilizing Pakistan. There is also a mistaken characterization in American media about Rawalpindi as a Garrison town. In any case if Pentagon can be attacked in Washington, DC why should it be so surprising if a few terrorists attacks happen in Rawalpindi or Islamabad.”
Zbigniev Brzezinski once boasted (“How the US provoked the Soviet Union into invading Afghanistan and starting the whole mess”, Le Nouvel Observateur (France), Jan 15 – 21, 1998, how he succeeded to trap the Soviets in the war by starting insurgency against the socialist government long time before the Soviet troops came over to help the government.
Similarly who asked Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait in 1990s leading to first Gulf War, full occupation and than execution of Saddam Hussein presenting as Shia revenge? Policy of divide and rule has not stopped. There was no problem of Shias and Sunnis in Iraq and else where. Critics say that, ‘’the attacks on Iraqi holly sites have multiple objectives for example warning to Iran and fanning ethno religious violence’.
Relaunching of Benazir Bhutto has another dimension which was about to be aired. Wikipedia encyclopedia wrote, “Bhutto was the eldest child of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a Pakistani of Sindhi descent and Shia Muslim by faith, and Begum Nusrat Bhutto, a Pakistani of Iranian-Kurdish descent, of similarly Shia Muslim by faith.” Her husband Mr Asif Zaradri also belong to Shia faith. Some foreign forces were/are going to use religion to crerate divide in Pakisatni society?
Approximately 3% Shia population of Pakistan is very well integrated with the Sunnis. After the Iranian Revolution and Soviet invasion of Aghanistan Shia and Sunni divide happened at a minor scale resulting in bombings on each others. “Shias of Pakistan are not like Sunnis in Iran”, former foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri told his Iranian counterpart. He was talking in the context of US invasion of Iran scenario and its impact on the region inlding Pakistan.
Edward Herman wrote in (ZNet Commentary, December 16, 2007), “of Great Satan and Little Satan, of the US and Israel. Whatever these two satans touch, rots. Whoever relies upon their help, loses his soul. The people of Pakistan deserve freedom, prosperity and equality, but no union with Satan will help them. Musharraf served the Great Satan, and Bhutto played ball with the Little Satan. Now the NY Times reported that the US plans to use the native mountain tribes of Pakistan to carry out their war. Unless the people of Pakistan reject Satan and his allies, be it called al Qaeda or ISI or CIA or Special troops, they won’t be free. As long as they still believe that something good can come out of Satan’s friendship, they are doomed. Their country will be dismantled, and their useless nuclear weapons won’t help them”.
One analyst said it is interesting to note that Benazir Bhutto and her husband had been lobbying and investing resources with Pro Israel Jewish lobby and also hired a Washington based Jewish lobbying firm for $160,000 for six months in mid 2007. One critic says, ‘Benazir had a long list of Pro Israel Jewish friends and was openly following their agenda.’ Look at the list of her friends and commentators on Pakistan’s nuclear program, who are they? Bhutto requesting Israeli secret service Mossad for protection, seeking advice from Stephen Cohen, writing emails to Mark Siegel, Wolf Blitzer, reportedly sharing secrets with David Frost, relaying messages to Israeli Prime minister Ehud Olmert, meeting with President Shimon Peres at several occasions, Benazir and Zaradari having dinner with Israeli Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman who recalled a meeting he had with Bhutto just prior to her return to Pakistan. “My wife and I had an intimate dinner with her and her husband,” he said. “We spent over three hours with them.” WHY?
One critic said looking at the list of all Benazir’s friends above it seems like she was playing a dangerous game of pro Israeli Jews, imperialists and neo-cons to denuclearise, destabilise and disintegrate Pakistan? A well respected Jewish analyst and former US Secretary of State Hennery Kissinger once said as reported, “it is irrelevant if US punishes its enemies or not but it definitely punish its FRIENDS”.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior award wining investigative journalist and writer on security, foreign policy, and terrorism based in London)