Pakistan

Chomsky on India-Pakistan Relations

Noam Chomsky is a noted linguist, author, and foreign policy expert. On April 26, Michael Shank interviewed him about relations between India and Pakistan. This is the second part of a two-part interview. The first part, on the Iraq War, the World Bank, and debt, can be found here.

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Americas Musharraf Dilemma

Stung by a spree of suicide attacks, Pakistan’s military junta this week had to take in an unannounced guest bearing ill tidings. The United States wants General Musharraf to do more to crush al-Qaida, Vice President Dick Cheney told his host during a surprise secretive trip to Islamabad. After being defeated in Afghanistan, America’s bin Laden-led enemies are regrouping in Pakistan’s tribal region, said Cheney. He is reported to have warned Musharraf that if Pakistan does not produce more results, the Democrat-dominated Congress may review and revoke the American military assistance program resumed after September 11, 2001. The military’s status as a major non-Nato ally of the United States could also be in danger.

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Dropping Musharraf?

There is a whiff of “regime change” in the air these days, but not where you might expect it. Not in Iraq, where the conservative U.S.-backed Shiites are already in power. Not in Iran, where White House threats have served to unite, rather than divide, that country. But in Pakistan, where President Pervez Musharraf has recently fallen out of U.S. favor.

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Democracy Endangered

Pakistan’s position as a key U.S. ally in the campaign against al-Qaeda has been particularly beneficial to the military-led government of General Pervez Musharraf, whose support is seen by the Bush administration as indispensable to U.S. “anti-terrorism” efforts in the region. Despite the country’s anti-democratic credentials and the army’s continued dominance of the political scene, U.S. economic and diplomatic support has provided Musharraf much needed international legitimacy—and funds.

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Talking Peace and KashmirWarily, Under a Nuclear Shadow

Six years after they blasted their way into the Global Nuclear Club and dangerously heightened their mutual rivalry even further, India and Pakistan have begun a wide-ranging bilateral dialogue to resolve disputes and normalize relations. Since the new United Progressive Alliance government led by Manmohan Singh was sworn in six weeks ago, Indian and Pakistani officials have held two rounds of talks.

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Good Cop, Bad Cop at the UN

Resolution 1441 is more an alternative “legal” road to war rather than an alternative to war itself. Extrapolating from Saddam Hussein’s previous behavior, the Security Council resolution will lead to war as surely as a position of unilateral U.S. belligerence. The Iraqi ruler will need an unprecedented political and psychological makeover to eat the copious and indigestible helpings of humble pie that the UN resolution prescribes being shoveled down his maw.

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