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Author Topic: PAKISTAN / WHAT NOW?  (Read 2620 times)
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crazybabyborg
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« on: December 28, 2007, 04:27:57 PM »


"Failed state" Pakistan raises nuclear threat By Luke Baker

Fri Dec 28, 11:54 AM ET
 


Security experts fear Pakistan's nuclear materials could fall into the hands of Islamic militants as the country's instability deepens in the wake of Benazir Bhutto's assassination.

In early 2005, a joint security assessment by the CIA and the U.S. National Intelligence Council predicted Pakistan would become "a failed state, ripe with civil war, bloodshed, inter-provincial rivalries and a struggle for control of its nuclear weapons and complete Talibanisation" by 2015.

Following Bhutto's death in Rawalpindi on Thursday, some experts believe the timeframe on that assessment may now have been brought forward, with political upheaval pitching Pakistan, a nuclear-armed power since 1998, towards breakdown.

"It's a very, very valid risk," said M.J. Gohel, the head of the Asia-Pacific Foundation, a London-based security and intelligence think-tank, describing the possibility that parts of Pakistan's nuclear technology could fall into militant hands.

"It's only a matter of time before al Qaeda or somebody sympathetic to them gets hold of nuclear weapons, and if al Qaeda or its sympathisers are to get hold of them, then Pakistan is at this point the weakest link in the chain.

"It is the most unstable country in the world that has nuclear weapons. Iran may want nuclear weapons, but it doesn't have them today. Pakistan does."

Despite the concerns frequently raised by nuclear experts, especially since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Washington believes Pakistan's arsenal remains secure.

U.S. military and defence officials say the weapons are safely under the control of the Pakistani military, and the Pentagon on Friday counselled calm despite recent turmoil.

"Our assessment is that the Pakistani nuclear arsenal is under control," spokesman Colonel Gary Keck said. "At this time we have no need for concern."

PROLIFERATION THREAT

The security of Pakistan's nuclear programme, begun in the early 1970s, has, however, been of international concern since the 1990s when suspicions emerged that A.Q. Khan, the head of the programme, was trading know-how with China and North Korea.

Khan confessed on national television in 2004, admitting that Iran and Libya had been among his clients. The next day he was pardoned by President Pervez Musharraf. Despite the proliferation breach, the United States imposed no sanctions.

Musharraf, a former head of the army who came to power in a military coup in 1999, once said that "not an army bolt" could go missing without his knowledge, and yet Khan managed for years to export sophisticated technology with little restraint.

Given that Musharraf, an important U.S. ally in the battle against militants, also has to juggle the fact that elements of his military have sympathy with the Taliban and al Qaeda, the possibility of nuclear security being compromised exists.

"In the long run, if you have all these nuclear assets and a government that's having to pander to extremists to stay in power, it's not a good look," Henry Sokolski, the executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, a Washington-based nonprofit organisation, told Reuters.

"These weapons and these assets are a potential headache wherever they are, so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that they are a threat somewhere like Pakistan."

If Pakistan's nuclear arsenal were to be compromised, experts are not suggesting that whole nuclear bombs or armed missiles, of which Pakistan is estimated to have up to 100, would somehow pass into militant hands.

More probable is that nuclear material, such as small quantities of radioactive uranium, would be passed on, allowing groups such as al Qaeda to develop so-called "dirty bombs".

Al Qaeda's desire to get hold of such weapons is long held -- Gohel says the group has had a Weapons of Mass Destruction committee for several years, with most members still at large.

Paul Wilkinson, the former head of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St Andrews University, said an unstable Pakistan could lead to a "nightmare scenario".

"We could have a situation where extremists were able to control the nuclear facilities of Pakistan," he told the UK's Press Association. "That would be a very dangerous, nightmare scenario, and one that we really ought to be concerned about."



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LouiseVargas
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2007, 11:13:51 PM »

From a front pager on another board.
*****************************************

One of our front pagers knew Benazir from back in her Harvard days. Musharraf may not have done the actual deed but he certainly allowed it to happen. 

from our comments i found this:

know that there will likely be comments about the "death by shrapnel" statement when the original reports were that she was hit by gunfire. They aren't necessarily contradictory. If she had been injured initially by the bullets and fell across the roof of the vehicle, the bomb may have actually wounded her with the fatal shrapnel.

I saw her vehicle and wonder why there was no bullet-proofed plexiglass around the sunroof. It would have been simple to place something like that on the vehicle. She was really totally exposed.

One would think that people should have already learned from the open car assissinations ... JFK, the Pope and Benazir.
 
And Bhutto herself accused Musharraf of assigning the Islamist Brig. General Ejaz Shah, who has held various ISI security posts within the Musharraf regime, and is supposedly the former handler of both bin Laden and Mullar Omar. He was supposedly the government frontman in organizing and funding the Parties that supported the Taliban and Al Qaida. Shah made personal contact with the Uncle of Omar Sheik, one of the accused kidnappers of Daniel Pearl, and asked his old friend (a former judge) to get his nephew to surrender directly to him. This was while the FBI and Pakistani police were clearly within hours of making their own arrest. Thus Sheik was rescued from rendition, and placed in Shah's personal custody.

He's held postings as the top Counter-Narcotics officer, in which he was accused of corruption, and consequently removed judges from their positions if they made rulings that broke up his own networks.

Yet this is the man that Musharraf appointed to establish security around Bhutto. 

http://www.prisonplanet.com/ar....._b_isi.htm

now they are saying she died from hitting her head on her sunroof after the gunshots but CNN had that photographer on yesterday who took the last known photo of her alive heard the shots, saw her falling inside and said she was shot in the neck and chest. 
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mrs. red
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2007, 12:21:41 AM »

I seriously doubt that she died hitting her head on the sun roof... but it would only make sense they they are trying to quell some of the riots..

Bhutto was certainly a polarizing figure - many accuse her of corruption and many believe that she had truly learned from earlier mistakes and was trying to rectify earlier mistakes.  I don't know... I thought she was our real last chance for a true change in that part of the world because of how women are viewed and what she stood for......e

I don't think that Musharrif is the evil villian he is being painted right now... UNLESS he had something to do with her death, I think that perhaps he made a deal with the devil... and looked the other way to save his own life.. but hey they are targeting him next.

I am not sure what the reprecussions will be from her death, but I do believe that it will have far reaching ramifications.

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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2007, 08:51:27 PM »

Wish I'd said this....

Musharaf is a straight-forward thug.

Bhutto was a lying, corrupt thug. As bad as he is, she was worse, and the only reason she went back to Pakistan was to stir the pot. The thing about stirring the pot is that sometimes, you get burned.

I hope she  rests in peace, because she knew she would be a target and get whacked sooner or later if she went back, and she knew it would destabilize an already precarious situation, she wanted to destabilize this whole area. 

It would be nice to see Pakistani turned into a functional democracy, but it will not happen.  The best we can hope for there is a thug who is at least neutral to our interests. Musharaf is that thug.
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tcumom
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2007, 09:21:05 PM »

tyler~agree. Thank you for your, yet again, succinct post.
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2007, 09:35:47 PM »

Tyler,
I learn so much from you..... and you seem to be able to get at the crux of what I am mumbling and stammering about (with Musharif).
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LouiseVargas
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2007, 10:08:22 PM »

We know Bhutto served eight years in office and was pushed out due to corruption charges.

We know Musharaf is a thug. He didn't want to share power with her.

She was backed by the United States to return to Pakistan and try to work in a "partnership" with Musharaf to administer the country. He didn't want that so he had her whacked.

Very interesting comment "The best we can hope for there is a thug who is at least neutral to our interests. Musharaf is that thug."

Yep, you are right.
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MuffyBee
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2007, 08:14:43 PM »

We know Bhutto served eight years in office and was pushed out due to corruption charges.

We know Musharaf is a thug. He didn't want to share power with her.

She was backed by the United States to return to Pakistan and try to work in a "partnership" with Musharaf to administer the country. He didn't want that so he had her whacked.

Very interesting comment "The best we can hope for there is a thug who is at least neutral to our interests. Musharaf is that thug."

Yep, you are right.

That sounds about right.
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2007, 10:10:01 PM »

  I don't know... I thought she was our real last chance for a true change in that part of the world because of how women are viewed and what she stood for......e
 

I really don't know about the political ramifications, but after hearing and seeing the things related to me by Mrs. Owl, I do think that things will slowly change for women.  There are events taking place in India right now that seem to be placing more influence in the hands of women.  I can just tell by the photos she returned with that there is real strength in numbers.  The women are just beginning to be self sufficient.  I know it is going to take time, but I believe it will happen.  The women from even the poorest of families are banding together to the benefit of all.
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2007, 10:40:07 PM »

The problem with the India is they never know when they have it good.  The good jobs are finally being doled out to the professional Indians who are in the highest caste but it will be hundreds of years before the lower caste will have the good jobs and if the Hindus don't quit killing Christians, as they have been doing over the past two weeks, they may all find themselves deeper into third-worldism than they suspected.

And yes, Benizar was really an Indian, not a Paki and some resented her American educated, England dwelling, interloper status and her claims to being a Paki instead of an Indian (by blood).
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LouiseVargas
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« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2007, 06:47:53 PM »

Thanks for the info that Benazir is Indian, not Pakistani. I don't think that matters at all as she did serve two terms as Prime Minister of Pakistan (1988-1990; 1993-1996).  She was a Pakistani politician who chaired the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), a centre-left political party in Pakistan.
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