bhutto on dictatorship


To some, the disquieting pattern of the link between Pakistan and terrorist plots against the west may seem irrelevant and coincidental. To me the pattern is a consequence of the west allowing Pakistani military regimes to suppress the democratic aspirations of the people of Pakistan, as long as their dictators ostensibly support the political goals of the international community.

In the late 1970s the democratically elected government of Pakistan was toppled by a coup led by the army chief General Zia ul-Haq. At first the international community demanded a restoration of democracy. But after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan these demands subsided as the US saw an opportunity to hobble the Soviet Union. The US funnelled aid for the fundamentalist mujahideen through Pakistan, specifically through the military intelligence agencies Zia had created to cement his iron rule.

This alliance converted my homeland from a peaceful nation into a violent society of weapons, heroin addiction and a radicalised interpretation of Islam, and the diversion of resources to the military devastated Pakistani society.

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