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NY bomb plot and `conspiracies`

May 13, 2010

Email

DURING a debate on the media about the recent car bomb incident in New York, some retired generals and politicians, as expected, began spreading conspiracy theories to prove that the whole world had turned against Pakistan.

It was disappointing that a number of analysts and anchors of high credibility also demonstrated the same 'victimhood syndrome'. Voices in the American media like Fareed Zakaria who, according to one senior political blogger, is running Door Darshan on CNN, are taking advantage of the situation because of their usual anti-Pakistan rhetoric.

They will be successful if the media from Pakistan, instead of condemning the incident, begins searching worldwide cabals against Pakistan. Before jumping to conclusions, the media must debate some issues like
a. For years a large number of terrorists were found linked with Pakistan no matter which nationality they belonged to. According to reports, the shoe bomber, who was a known outlaw, his father and even his mother had criminal records, got a Pakistani visa, even though getting a visa is so difficult for Indian citizens who have their families in Pakistan.

b. There are reports that North Waziristan is turning into a centre for the Taliban and Al Qaeda. True, that Pakistan must observe its strategic interests but Pakistan has to deal with it sooner than later before this cancer spreads.

c. After Mumbai attacks, according to reports, a top security official told a group of senior journalists that Pakistan had no problems with the militants in Fata, but only some misunderstandings with Baitullah Mehsud and Fazlullah.

These misunderstandings could be removed through dialogue. These comments show that our security agencies still are living in the past and believe that some terrorists are an asset to Pakistan in foreign affairs.

Conspiracies can never be ruled out. It is understandable that former and serving spymasters have a better perception compared with ordinary citizens. As investigations progress, Shahzad could be found committing this crime not because of ideology but because of his bad economic conditions, which is common in the US these days where some time back a lunatic killed his fellow workers after getting laid off from the job.

The problem is that whenever any incident happens they outright start arguing that there is some link with Pakistan.

After the Mumbai incident, some anchors of credible TV shows spent the whole of their shows to connect the dots and alleged that whatever was being discussed outside Pakistan about terrorists' links was nothing but part of international intrigue to take over Pakistan's nuclear assets.

We should accept that Pakistan is indeed becoming an epicentre of terrorism and it must be destroyed with focussed strategies. No one will then ever conspire against Pakistan if we keep our house in order.

MISBAH U. AZAM
United States