Fighting Terrorism is Pakistan's most pressing and urgent priority.
Great. Just fuckin great.
The last year has been tumultuous in Pakistan, politically, economically and socially. Many people who witnessed the state of affairs in Pakistan following former PM Benazir Bhutto's violent assassination, including yours truly, were fearful for the very existence of the country. However in the last three months we have seen some sort of a political process emerge from the ruins of repeated military dictatorships that planted a seed of hope (however small) in even the most pesismistic of Pakistanis. A year of political agitation surrounding the dismissal of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court combined with increasing political stupidity and arrogance of the military administration, a population fed up of daily violence, food and power shortages. The result: a historic election that showed the US backed military rulers, their croonies and non-secular Islamic parties the door.
What followed was even more unique and promising. Two political parties that have hated each other's guts for the last twenty year came together to form a political coalition, seemingly determined to not only curtail the powers of President General (retd.) P.Musharraf but to restore the independence of the judiciary, and begin an inclusive peaceful dialog with militant separatist movements instead of bombing the shit out of them. The new parliament includes the first female Speaker and a Prime Minister from a religious minority sect (shia) that has popular support. There is strong presence of the ANP, which gives much needed secular representation to the violence ridden NWFP. The parliament is being called the Rainbow Coalition in the Media!
What can I say ... I got my hopes up. Just a lil bit mind you ... but I did. I mean hell, the new leaders refused to promise the US that their homeboy's future would be safe:
"ISLAMABAD, March 25: The Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-N have refused to give any assurance to the United States about the future of President Pervez Musharraf, saying that every matter would now be debated in parliament.
In separate meetings with US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher on Tuesday, leaders of the two parties said they wanted to make parliament a sovereign institution and all policy issues, including the ‘war on terror’, would now be discussed there."
Imagine the audacity, telling the US that our decisions would be sovereign. And the US was fretting that shit for a second ... stepping up their attacks on "terrorist targets" in Pakistan afraid that the new government wouldn't let them violate our sovereignty. So they send over Assistant Secretary of State Boucher to Pakistan on the day that our first democratic anything in eight years is being sworn in. Just a reminder you know, in case we forget who our daddy is.
And now a few days later, here we have it. Pakistan's top priority is not dealing with crippling flour and sugar shortages, consistent 8 - 24 hour long power outages, education (or lackthereof), water shortage, poverty, or the economy. No it is fighting terror. Yes sir.