Pakistan — Explosive Country

This article from the Washington Post describes the work of Shafqat Malik, head of bomb disposal in Pakistan.

In Pakistan, a master bomb tech fights a new kind of war

I have a feeling that we are conditioned by media, in our “war against terror”, to look at countries like Pakistan as the enemy and every person living there as a potential terrorist. That versus inited states military operatives, who are all anti-terrorist. But the reality is not always so cut and dried.

Pakistan is a country filled with people who are struggling to help her survive and to become an orderly, law-abiding country. Unfortunately, it is also a country filled with the remnants of the freedom fighters who helped Afghanistan free itself from the Soviet Union. Many of these remnants now run schools for training jihadists who now focus their efforts against the United States and other western countries. And most of these remnants use know-how given to them by the CIA and other US groups in covert efforts against soviet troups, efforts that go back as far as the Carter presidency, efforts that could have sparked a US – Soviet war if they had been known.

Pakistan is one of those countries that has been caught in the middle for a long time. Having established independence from India to the south, it has had to be vigilant against all out attacks from India. Border skirmishes are a daily occurrence. The Kashmir remains in constant dispute between the two countries.

To the north, there is the porous border with Afghanistan, another country long caught in the middle for centuries. Her opium not only made her valuable to the British, during her days of empire, as a cash crop with which to conquer China, but also as an overland route to India, her prized Asian colony. Even as the feudal warlords of Afghanistan have gained for her a measure of independence, so also her feudal tendencies have thwarted attempts for a strong national identity that can ward off outside interference. As in the Middle East, feudal allegiances spill over the border into Pakistan and are stronger, many times, than any nationalist emotions.

So, Pakistan, and those in her who relish a modern democratic, orderly society, has its hands full. We in the US would like to make blanket assumptions about her commitment to being allies of the “free” West. However, we might do well to examine her plight. For, more and more rapidly, the US itself is descending into a society of covert allegiances and divided loyalties. It is becoming impossible to tell who, in our own governance, is really committed to the ideals that they expect from others, and who are merely using the facade of the America heritage to achieve their own devious agendas. We might do well to give the good citizens of Pakistan more encouragement and to learn from their vigilance.


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