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Pakistanis Unsurprised by 'Stone Age' Remark
[Opinion] Musharraf claims U.S. threatened violence if Islamabad did not join War on Terror
Awab Alvi (drawab)     Print Article 
Published 2006-09-23 15:18 (KST)   
In an interview on "CBS 60 Minutes," the president of Pakistan, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, said that immediately after 9/11, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage warned Pakistan's head of Intelligence that if Pakistan would not join the War on Terror it should:

"Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age." (video)

We Pakistanis are not surprised to find out that we were willy-nilly pushed into this partnership in the "War on Terror," knowing the mighty U.S. would just as soon trample all over us and that the emotionally-hyped American public could not care less about us, as was the case with Afghanistan and Iraq.

When the same government, however, says that it will order troops to enter Pakistan to catch Osama bin Laden without the authorization of the Pakistani government, one wonders when this crazed maniac [Bush] will take a time-out to do some thinking.

Osama and the word "Al-Qaeda" are simply used as mantras to panic naive Americans into authorizing invasions, lest they, God forbid, be labeled as "un-American."

When questioned by the White House Press Corps about the above comment, the President of the United States choose to play dumb yet again, offering the lame excuse, "I just read it in the newspapers."

To avoid an embarrassing rebuttal and confrontation, Musharraf himself ducked the question, lacking the finesse of his U.S. counterpart, and hid behind the excuse of a non-disclosure clause in the contract with the publisher of his autobiography, expected to hit the stores in a few days.

The president of Pakistan barely missed a beat in plugging the book even during his official visit to the U.S., and I sincerely hope that the people of Pakistan will benefit from the royalties ready to flow into our national treasury from his quasi-official book promotion.

It's common for past heads of state to be working on their autobiographies, but this must be a first for a serving president.

In the press conference, Musharraf may have earned a few loyalty points by ducking the all-important question of what might extend his military regime beyond 2007, which has been under threat from all quarters.

Whatever the sentiments brewing back home, it appears that the U.S. media have portrayed this official visit in favorable terms overall, and let's hope they remain so well disposed.
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Awab Alvi

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