Monday, March 12, 2007

A voice from Pakistan

I haven't been blogging lately for various reasons. But couldn't resist to post this quote from Benazir Bhutto (former prime minister of pakistan) in today's Washington Post column:
Much has been said about Pakistan being a key Western ally in the war against terrorism. It is the fifth-largest recipient of U.S. aid -- the Bush administration proposed $785 million in its latest budget. Yet terrorism around the world has increased. Why is it that all terrorist plots -- from the Sept. 11 attacks, to Madrid, to London, to Mumbai -- seem to have roots in Islamabad?

Pakistan's military and intelligence services have, for decades, used religious parties for recruits. Political madrassas -- religious schools that preach terrorism by perverting the faith of Islam -- have spread by the tens of thousands.

The West has been shortsighted in dealing with Pakistan. When the United States aligns with dictatorships and totalitarian regimes, it compromises the basic democratic principles of its foundation -- namely, life, liberty and justice for all. Dictatorships such as Musharraf's suppress individual rights and freedoms and empower the most extreme elements of society. Oppressed citizens, unable to represent themselves through other means, often turn to extremism and religious fundamentalism