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Countering the growing Bhutto myth
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, January 06, 2008

We've talked about it. Ralph Peters has covered it. Now William Dalrymple makes an attempt. I'm talking about this growing movement to make Benazir Bhutto into something she wasn't. The best antidote, as Dalrymple points out, is history:
It was under Bhutto's watch that the Pakistani intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, first installed the Taliban in Afghanistan. It was also at that time that hundreds of young Islamic militants were recruited from the madrassas to do the agency's dirty work in Indian Kashmir. It seems that, like some terrorist equivalent of Frankenstein's monster, the extremists turned on both the person and the state that had helped bring them into being.

While it is true that the recruitment of jihadists had started before she took office and that Bhutto was insufficiently strong - or competent - to have had full control over either the intelligence services or the Pakistani Army when she was in office, it is equally naïve to believe she had no influence over her country's foreign policy toward its two most important neighbors, India and Afghanistan.
So she wasn't, as she claimed to the west, the jihadists worst nightmare nor someone who was a particular threat to them. In fact, it could be argued that her pragmatism concerning their use against India over Kashmir, actually made her someone they'd likely not fear coming to power:
By 1993, during Bhutto's second term, the Arab and Afghan jihadis (and their Inter-Services Intelligence masters) had really begun to take over the uprising from the locals. It was at this stage that the secular leadership of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front began losing ground to hard-line Islamist outfits like Hizbul Mujahedeen.

I asked Benazir Bhutto about her Kashmir policy and the potential dangers of the growing role of religious extremists in the conflict during an interview in 1994. "India tries to gloss over its policy of repression in Kashmir," she replied. "India does have might, but has been unable to crush the people of Kashmir. We are not prepared to keep silent, and collude with repression."

Hamid Gul, who was the head of the intelligence agency during her first administration, was more forthcoming still. "The Kashmiri people have risen up," he told me, "and it is the national purpose of Pakistan to help liberate them." He continued, "If the jihadis go out and contain India, tying down their army on their own soil, for a legitimate cause, why should we not support them?"
Just a little something to put in the context pipe and smoke when the "Bhutto savior and martyr of Pakistan" train comes to town.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

"India tries to gloss over its policy of repression in Kashmir,"
What a C#%t. If any of you have ever met a Hindu Pandit, who have claimed Kashmir as their ethnic homeland for over 5,000 years, you would realize how gentle and tolerant a people they are. Claiming that you are "oppressed" by innocent, peaceful people is they key identifying factor for any fascist, who simply want to justify their own supremicist aims and gain popular support amongst the rabble. Hundreds of thousands of Pandits who were ethnically cleansed from Kashmir under the direction of Bhutto still languish in refugee camps to this day.

When I hear quotes like this from Bhutto, it makes me feel satisfied that the Bitch got snuffed out. May she rot in hell with other "moderates" like Abdul Nasser and Yassir Arafat.
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
This is a nice catch. Accurate.

Then again, for the opposing point of view, it seems pretty clear that if she was anything like in league with the extremists, they might have handled her differently.
Written By: glasnost
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