Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pakistan's appeasement of Islamists

The Pakistani government has effectively surrendered control of the North West Frontier Province to the Taliban, indirectly, by recognising the Taliban's interpretation of Sharia law as applying to the Province. This is in exchange for a ceasefire with the Taliban.

What this means, effectively, is the Taliban has won. It is like Poland setting up a government that recognises Nazi laws, in exchange for the Nazis not invading.

The Taliban has already destroyed girls schools in the province in the areas that it controls, and so in effect the sort of brutal, heartless, inhumane rule that it once applied to all of Afghanistan is now to rule part of Pakistan.

CNN reports on a Pakistani woman from the province who fears the spread of the Taliban's influence with this capitulation:

"The whole point is, if it's not contained to Swat, it's going to spill all over in Pakistan and the West also doesn't realize the seriousness of the situation," Bibi said. "Probably your next 9/11 is going to be from Swat."

Dean Nelson, in the Daily Telegraph, who knows the region writes with despair:

"in the new democratic Pakistan, and in an area 'ruled' by a secular party, terror is about to be announced the victor, and will now enjoy the spoils. The local Taliban's demand of Sharia Law has been agreed and the hope of justice among the families of those butchered for buying a video, singing a song, or governing in accordance with their secular mandate, has been killed too."

As Ayn Rand once said, when there is a compromise between the good and the evil, it is a triumph of evil. Islamists will now effectively have a safe haven in a province of a nuclear armed state. One can only hope it is temporary at best, contained to that province and that it does not spread. Pity the women and girls in the North West Frontier Province, who are about to see their lives get worse.

After all, this is a country which has as a Cabinet Minister a man who defended the murder of girls and women who dared seek to choose their husbands. Then again, the Minister of Education presided over an illegal tribal court which saw five infants handed over for marriage in exchange for a murder.

The difference between Iran and Pakistan looks more like Pakistan is apparently on our side.

There are Pakistanis against this
, sadly their voices are not being heard enough.

My question is what does the new US administration think. Does it want to help Pakistan smash the Islamists? Or is this, as some have suggested, part of the Obama's administration's "smart power"?

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