Is Pervez Musharraf a sinister dictator, or a deleterious manipulator, or both? And if Musharraf is a dictator why is the international community not holding his feet to the fire? The North American media haven’t been critical enough of the Bush administration and the American government’s ”friendship” with Musharraf. The United States foreign aid to Pakistan is $1 billion per year and most of the money goes directly to the military to “fight” against terrorism.
Why does the North American media continue to provide the myopic perspective that Pakistan is one of the “few” places in the world where potentially terrorism exists? There are terrorist organizations in Africa, Western Europe, and in other parts of Asia. Why hasn’t the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoken out about the crisis in Pakistan? I doubt Harper would ever criticize President Bush about his blatant hypocrisy in relation to human rights in Pakistan. It doesn’t appear likely that Mr. Harper will do anything expect be the puppy dog that follows America as the United States terrorizes the rest of the world.
What about the concerns of the Pakistani people? Does anyone care about them? Musharraf has ordered a “state of emergency” which is basically his attempt to hold on to power for as long as possible. Thousands of journalists and lawyers have been detained and arrested.
I wonder if the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Ms. Benazir Bhutto is in over her head? What can Ms. Bhutto really do right now when there are constant threats of violence against her own life? Will Musharraf honestly “protect” Ms. Bhutto from her enemies given the assassination attempt against her a few weeks back in Karachi? Musharraf may be a dictator but the United States needs him to on their side in the war against “terror”.
The United States wants Pakistan to return to “democracy” but maybe “democracy” cannot work in Pakistan? Perhaps another form of justice can work in Pakistan? The western ideology is that the “western way” is the “only way” but maybe that’s the quandary? Can the United States really be trusted either? After all, although the United States government is an imperial power and the American government seems selective in its role as universial super police force. Why doesn’t the USA tend to the concerns of Nigeria or the Congo? Oops, Africa is not a focus of the Bush administration at the moment African countries are outside of the USA sphere of influence. The Bush administration claims in the media they are not pleased with Musharraf but this so called ”tension” between the two countries is all “smokes” and “mirrors”.
The American government is apathetic to the concerns of the proletariat in Pakistan. Over forty million people in Pakistan live below the poverty line the majority of the poor live in the rural areas. What about women’s rights in Pakistan?
Pakistan is still a nation that has rigid gender roles where male domination is palatable. Pakistani women have less access to education and opportunities to improve their social status and standard of living in Pakistan. Shouldn’t the Western media be focusing on the disparity of the amount of the USA aid that directly towards the military and the lack of revenue reaching the citizens of Pakistan? Why is the Western media only focusing on the potential “threat” of terror to USA interests? The money isn’t been distributed fairly to the Pakistani people.The American government isn’t focused on the Pakistani people that are hungry, suffering, living in fear, poverty, and despair. The USA is only providing funding to Pakistan because the South Asian nation fits into the American “sphere of influence”. Musharraf doesn’t want “democracy” and he certainly has curtailed the power of the Supreme Court judges in Pakistan. He wants to maintain absolute power for as long as possible. Its interesting that the USA media refuses to attack President Bush and Condoleezza Rice for their blatant hypocrisy.
The human rights and freedoms of the educated “elite” in Pakistan is important because it is this segment of the population that Musharraf is most fearful of. Musharraf is also fearful of the Islamic militants within the country and the potential threat of terrorism. Musharraf has stated that the elections will be “delayed” but he is only playing a game with the United States and he is winning. Musharraf knows that the American government is in a precarious position. The Bush administration doesn’t want to alienate Musharraf but they also cannot appear as though they “agree” with his aggressive tactics in the public sphere. The facade is even if Pakistan did have democratic elections its almost certain that Musharraf would remain in power. I am not sure Benazir Bhutto can do anything at all she appears powerless right now? Ms. Bhutto is a courageous woman she is risking her life because she believes she can help “change” Pakistan. The question is will Musharraf allow Ms. Bhutto to continue to speaking out against him in the world media? Can Ms. Bhutto and her supporters be effective given their limited voice within the country?