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PostSubject: Dirty politics   Dirty politics EmptyWed Jun 03, 2009 12:29 am

Dirty politics

Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Dr A Q Khan

The Sri Lankan army has wound up the bloody separatist movement of the Tamil Tigers. A country that was once known as a tourists' paradise was turned into a terrorists' den. Surprising (and hypocritical) reactions have come from some Western countries, which suddenly became "worried" about the humanitarian aspects of the war. The very governments that had allowed the Tamils to openly collect funds in their respective countries in support of the insurgency now suddenly profess that they require protection. If that is so, why not a word about the Kashmiris?

I have been following the Sri Lankan war for a long time and am aware of the Tamils' ruthless suicide bombing and killing of government officials (even President Premadasa) and innocent citizens.

One must look into the background of the whole episode. We know that the south of India has millions of Tamils and that they were supporting the rebels in Sri Lanka. A film made by a Western journalist a few years ago showed how supplies (food, oil, weapons) were openly shipped to Jafna. More recently, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu openly advocated the establishment of an independent Tamil state in northern Sri Lanka. The crux of the matter is that, since successive Indian governments have been involved and supportive of this insurgency, this sudden interest by some Western countries is in fact on behalf of the Indian government.

Another example of dirty politics is the UN report on the Gaza massacre by the Israelis. Ban Ki Moon, the secretary general of the UN, found it convenient to ban publication of the greater part of this report, which accused the Israelis of war crimes, genocide and the use of banned phosphorous bombs. Rubbing salt into their wounds was the declaring of a paltry $11 million (no more than the value of a luxurious villa in the USA) to those affected. And this while their whole infrastructure–hos pitals, schools, factories, power houses, residential areas–had been turned into rubble. Meanwhile, the new hawkish Israeli government has just announced the expansion of existing housing schemes in Arab East Jerusalem.

In connection with the Kashmir dispute, Prime Minister Nehru used to say that public memory is very short and that one could get away with almost anything. At least as far as some Western countries are concerned. Illegal wars, human rights violations and violations of the sovereignties of other countries are all carried out in the belief that public memory is but short. It is hardly 18 years ago that daily live broadcasts showed how innocent Bosnian men, women and children were massacred by the Serbs. Heavy guns and tanks were positioned on the hills surrounding Sarajevo and the city was pounded day and night. Remember that mortar shell that fell in the marketplace and ripped to pieces 65 people? And the one that was aimed at children playing football in an open space between buildings? They too were killed. Remember also how Lord Carrington openly taunted that the world should not expect them to give the Turks (Bosnians) at the table what they could not take by the sword in the field. A lot of time was wasted, lengthy, time-consuming negotiations held and statements made, all in the hope that the Serbs would overrun Sarajevo and present the world with a fait accompli. Thanks to the valiant Bosnian fighters, this did not happen. While the West looked the other way, the Serbs murdered almost 300,000 Muslim Bosnians – the worst massacre having been perpetrated in Srebrenica, a UN-protected enclave, where the Dutch contingent actually facilitated the rounding up of all able-bodied Muslims. They were later taken by the Serbs and shot in cold blood. Thanks to risky, clandestine supplies by Iran, Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan (courtesy Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, KRL and POF), the Bosnians managed to survive. Once they started getting the upper hand, the West immediately intervened and forced a ceasefire in Behac and other places. I still have very fond memories of my meetings with former prime minister Dr Haris Sladjic, a dear friend of mine, his sister Sadjida Sladjic (who was ambassador to Pakistan) and the defence minister and the army chief. Dr Sladjic's wife and children lived just behind our house in E-7 and we took responsibility for their safely and security. All top leaders of Bosnia used to pay courtesy calls on me whenever they visited Islamabad. The last time the defence minister and army chief came, they expressed the desire to call on me and I arranged a lunch for them. However, when one of the delegation members casually mentioned this to Gen (R) Musharraf, he immediately asked the late Gen Ghulam Ahmad not to let it take place. The lunch was duly cancelled.

We find Western duplicity in the matter of Somali pirates too. The Ethiopian army was materially and psychologically encouraged to attack Somalia and occupy it by force. Thousands of Muslims were killed in the process. Neither Ban Ki Moon nor any Western country intervened. The courage and tenacity of the Somalis forced the Ethiopians to retreat in disgrace, while giving them a good drubbing. This they had also done to the Americans who had to flee after their helicopter pilots were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu. The consequences of that mischief still continues, one of the indirect results being piracy. It is not enough simply to condemn; one must look into the background and causing factors and try to alleviate them.

How many people are aware that ex-Prime Minister Blair–he of the big lies that caused the death of millions of Iraqis and Afghans–is now Special Envoy for Palestine. In that capacity he can certainly ensure that Israel carries on its forceful occupation of Palestinian lands, illegal construction of settlements and erection of walls to cut off Palestinians' movement. For those who want to know more, read what Robert Fisk has to say about this appointment and the explicit adjectives he uses to describe Mr Blair.

The show goes on all over the world – but if it is not happening to us, then it is all too easy to forget or not pay much attention. Self-centred, corrupt leaders continue to lie to defend their policies.
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