The storming of the Red Mosque in Islamabad was a Pakistani action, undertaken for Pakistani reasons. Critical actions of future Pakistani governments, civilian or military, will be taken for the same basic reasons – and not at the desire of Washington. American presidents can of course bring great pressure to bear on Pakistan, but for obvious reasons, they are unlikely ever to get a Pakistani government to commit suicide on their behalf.It is important to point this out because so much American commentary seems based on the unconscious assumption that a Pakistani government’s first moral duty is to serve the United States. Coupled with this is the equally strange and dangerous assumption that democracy in Pakistan can automatically be coupled with increased support for the United States in the “war on terror.”
The Red Mosque may have fallen, but this is just the beginning of what many predict will be a dark period in Pakistan’s history. The Pandora’s Box has just been opened, and Musharraf doesn’t have a clue where the key is.
But then again, Declan Walsh of The Guardian points out this vital link:
As the mosque siege reached its climax on Tuesday President George Bush praised Gen Musharraf as a “valuable ally in rejecting extremists”.The same day an American air force general personally accompanied two F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, the first of 12 to be delivered over the coming year.