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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Between Dreams and Realities: Some Milestones in Pakistan's History - Sartaj Aziz

IF one were to make a list of 10 of the subcontinent’s most upright figures, Sartaj Aziz would assuredly rank on it. Very few can match his record in public service or rival the esteem he has come to command. He entered politics in 1984 with a formidable equipment – a civil servant in the Pakistani Finance Ministry and the Planning Commission and senior positions in the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). He was Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs (1990-1993) and (1997-1998) and Foreign Minister of Pakistan from August 1998 until the coup in October 1999 – in short, a technocrat in politics.
The Saudi envoy Prince Turki, the intelligence chief, reported to Sharif his talks with Mullah Omar. “Addressing the DG ISI [Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence], General Ziauddin, the Prime Minister said, ‘Is this the behaviour you expected from the Taliban supreme leader after all the support we had given them? And the proposal we are making about Bin Laden is in their own best interest.’ Then without waiting for an answer from DG ISI, he turned towards me and said: ‘Sartaj Sahib, we must review our entire relationship with the Taliban regime. The international community has criticised our decision to recognise the Taliban in May 1997. Ever since Naseerullah Babar, PPP [Pakistan People’s Party] government’s interior minister, called the Taliban ‘our boys’ in 1995, they are perceived to be a force created and supported by Pakistan.’”
A review was ordered. “The very next morning, Major General Pervez Masud, in-charge of the Afghan desk in ISI, appeared in my office without any appointment. When I saw him after I finished another meeting, he said, ‘Please persuade the Prime Minister to defer his decision to review Pakistan’s relationship with the Taliban regime for some time. After a long time, we see the prospect of having a peaceful and friendly neighbour in Afghanistan, because the Taliban are expanding their influence. All other alternatives will be worse’ ” (emphasis added). That is the nub of the matter.


Blogger Tao Dao Man said...

can you please recommend where i can find more info on this subject. ---the taliban--isi--mullah omar--cia--saudi--obl---i have read quite a bit,but i am looking for a different perspective. . is there a pakistani news source other than yours that would specialize in this?

October 14, 2009 7:16 PM  

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