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Friday, August 22, 2008

The More Things Change The More......Ayaz Amir

Meanwhile, we can all take note of the fact that while faces have changed and a wave of jubilation has swept the country, the substance of policy remains the same. In American eyes Musharraf's principal virtue was that he was pro-American, staunch and often unthinking guardian of American interests in this part of the world. The new setup – from Zardari and Yusuf Raza Gilani to Rehman Malik and the foreign minister, down to our man in Washington – is as America-inclined as anything Musharraf could offer.

The United States can thus congratulate itself on a smooth transition from a dictator and military man who had outlived his utility to a civilian set-up following the same policies but enjoying popular support.

Musharraf's unpopularity was hindering the "war on terror". The Americans think that the popular base of the new arrangement in Pakistan will facilitate the "war on terror". This is where the rub lies. The American-imposed "war on terror" has brought nothing but misery for Pakistan. Terrorism, instead of being contained or eradicated, has spread and now threatens to spread deeper into Pakistan. We need to rethink this war and the philosophy underpinning it, but this revision won't happen under the new order of things emerging in Pakistan.


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