The Pakistani boomerang on the backward swing

bq. […] It apparently seemed like a good idea in the 1990s for the ISI to back militants as a proxy force to compete with India in Kashmir and to exert influence in neighboring Afghanistan. (The United States contributed to the problem in the 1980s when it also funneled funds through ISI to militants fighting Soviet forces in Afghanistan.) Now it is a grave threat to Pakistan. The insurgency recently has begun spilling out of the lawless tribal areas along the Afghan border and into the city of Peshawar.

p. The real “inside story of the US funding of the Afghan war is here”:

bq. […] *The Times also reported that the ISI manipulated Pakistan’s last national election.* Many Pakistanis already suspected as much and fear it could be repeated in the Feb. 18 parliamentary vote. The only way for Mr. Musharraf to regain any credibility is by ensuring that the election is free and fair.

We had fake elections? Someone tell Bush…

bq. Jailed activists must be released. Ousted judges must be restored. Journalists must be able to report freely. International monitors must have maximum access to assess the voting. And Mr. Musharraf must work cooperatively with whatever leaders the election produces. The signs aren’t encouraging. *Instead, ever more paranoid, he directed his staff to develop a strategy for countering “Western propaganda.” He’s his own worst enemy and increasingly Pakistan’s as well.*

The New York Times, of course, is one of the key reasons we have such problems in Pakistan, according to no less a authority on propaganda than Musharraf himself. He is well known to not read or even meet people critical of anything he does, so he’s lucky that Bush too doesn’t read the Times (or any other newspaper, for that matter).

What now? That is the question everyone’s wondering about, and foreign aid workers making bets on when, not if, the shit will really hit the fan.

The “New York Times has a more detailed report on militancy in Pakistan”:

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