Friday, March 03, 2006

What Pakistan wants.

So George W Bush has finally landed in Pakistan.

Oddly enough, I have come to some reasonably firm conclusions about what the Pakistanis will ask from him.

The Pakistani wish list is as follows:
  1. A clean slate for the Pakistani establishment. A signal to resume outward proliferation activities and nuclear deals. Pakistan cannot ask for an acceptance of its nuclear status because it has already recieved that on Sept 12, 2001, but getting A Q Khan off the hook effectively legitimizes the global nuclear black market. By effectively legitimizing it, Bush will be able to secure Pakistani cooperation in keeping surveillance on it. It will be as if Pakistan is a member of the NSG.
  2. Pakistan will ask for access to several high end military items. They will most likely recieve the support they ask for as the balance equation in South Asia no longer exists.

In stark contrast to the abstract nonsense of the non-proliferation theologians, the Bush administration is following a more pragmatic policy of engagement with the Pakistanis. This engagement is the key to ensuring that Pakistan has a disincentive to damaging proliferation.

One is tempted to compare this trip to Pakistan to President Carter's trip to Iran. It may be recalled that while the SAVAKis went around the countryside killing dissidents at will, the President congratulated Arya Mehr on his outstanding record on human rights. Though there are many parallels, the situation with Musharraf is fundamentally different. Only the hand that anointed him can undo him.

Arya Mehr alas ... answered to a higher authority.

Khuda Hafiz,



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