December 31, 2007

FACT FROM FICTION:

Remembering the truth about Benazir (Mohan Guruswamy, 12/31/07, rediff)

While we must feel sorry for her as a mother, a wife, and even as a friend and be shocked at the manner of her dying, we must also bear in mind her record as prime minister and her record of hostility towards India.

A recollection of some of this would set right the balance somewhat. First and foremost is the fact that it was her government, and at her specific instance, that gave Osama bin Laden shelter in the NWFP and then inserted in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over. It was her government that fostered the Taliban, a creation of her interior minister, Maj Gen Nasarullah Babar, and with a little bit of help from Britain's SIS, armed them and launched them on the regime in Kabul. We must not also forget her record in setting up Gulbuddin Hekmatyar as a mujahideen leader, a warlord whose trail of sadism and cruelty has not been matched by anyone else in Afghanistan.

She was also the prime minister who gave the ISI the go-ahead to wage jihad on India. She was the one who exhorted the Pakistan trained and financed terrorists to 'jag-jag mo-mo han-han' Jagmohan the then governor of Jammu and Kashmir, with an explicit chopping motion of the right hand across the open left palm. She was the one who shrieked 'Azadi-azadi' from across the LOC and extended Zia-ul-Haq's doctrine of death by a thousand cuts to Kashmir. Only, she wanted to greatly reduce the number of cuts. And lastly, we must not forget that she was the one who personally delivered the CDs bearing AQ Khan's nuclear bomb design to the North Koreans who in turn gave her country the medium range missiles which they now flaunt as Ghazni and Ghori, both Afghan towns whose sole contributions to history was two particularly rapacious and cruel raiders by the name Muhammad.

If this was the record of her behavior towards India, her record as prime minister vis-�-vis her own country was just as bad. She and her husband stole over $1.5 billion from Pakistan and she was facing prosecution in Switzerland [Images] at the time of her death. Her 320 acre estate in Sussex stands like a Taj Mahal as her tribute to her love for easy money and the good life. Talking about the good life, the bill for Evian water from France during her second term as prime minister totted up to a neat $6 million. It is said that she even bathed in Evian water!

Benazir Bhutto got two chances at leading Pakistan, not because of her English pals from her Oxford days, but because of her American pals at Harvard and later in the South Asia divisions of the US State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 31, 2007 12:30 PM
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