Features
Reviews
Must Hear Music
Reviews Archives
Archives
Bargain Basement
Downloads
Music DVD
Upstart
Pipsqueaks
 
 
 
Features
Reviews
Archives
Send Us Mail
Contact Us
 
 

The Thermonuclear Menís Club:  Pakistan

The Thermonuclear Menís Club:    France | Great Britain | India | Israel |
Pakistan | Russia | United States | The Up and Coming: Iraq and Iran

By the 1980s it was widely suspected that Pakistan was developing nuclear capabilities; in 1990 the U.S. imposed economic sanctions on Pakistan after determining it was building an A-bomb. Its May 5, 1998 announcement that it had successfully detonated five nuclear weapons was unsurprising but disturbing nonetheless. Not only was the stage set for a new arms race on the Indian subcontinent; the Islamic world now included a nuclear power among its ranks. The events of September 11, and the ensuing war in Afghanistan, served to destabilize a country already perilously close to collapse. The Musharraf government finds itself between a rock and a hard place; alienated from the U.S. as its continuing ties to the Taliban come to light, besieged by religious hardliners outraged at its support of American attacks on Muslims, and facing continuing tension on its border with India.

In retrospect, propping up the Taliban might not have been the brightest move; at the time it probably seemed like a good idea. A stable government in Afghanistan opened the door to a pipeline linking oil- and gas-rich Central Asia with Pakistanís natural gas grid and its ports on the Arabian Sea. It helped to quell possible tensions among Pakistanís Pashtun minority, many of whom had family ties to the Pashto tribes of Afghanistan, and among the millions of Afghan refugees who remained in Pakistan after the Soviet occupation ended. It also provided a safety valve; every Pakistani who went to Afghanistan to join the jihad was one less radical Moslem for the Pakistani government to worry about. The Taliban also enjoyed considerable support in Pakistan, particularly within the military and within Pakistanís intelligence services. Their uncompromising law-and-order stance attracted a growing following along the sprawling, semi-autonomous frontier regions around the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, the Taliban rapidly proved more trouble than they were worth. Pakistanís support for the Taliban regime soured relations with its neighbors, particularly Iran. Fundamentalist Sunnis came back from their sojourns with the Taliban to incite violence against Pakistanís minority Ahmadi, Christian, and Shiía populations; in 1997 alone more than 200 people died in Punjab province as a result of anti-Shiíite violence, largely incited in Saudi and Kuwaiti-funded religious schools. By the time Musharraf caved in to American pressure, the damage had already been done. Pan-Islamic radicalism had become firmly entrenched in PakistanÖ and its leaders now saw Musharraf as an infidel and an enemy, despite all his previous support. Reports of a $100,000 wire sent to Mohammed Atta by a high-ranking official in Pakistani intelligence did little to assuage American suspicions, even after the official was forced to resign. In trying to play both ends against the middle, Musharraf has so far only succeeded in shooting himself in both feet.

Pakistanís nuclear capability is limited: most outside observers say they have no more than 35 bombsí worth of enriched uranium. At present its only method of delivery would be via one of its 34 U.S.-made F-16s. It is unclear, however, how much assistance Pakistan has received from China. It is believed that China provided Pakistan with much of the technology used in its 1998 blasts; if China has assisted in developing miniaturized warheads, the M-11 missiles it has provided Pakistan could deliver nuclear payloads. China may well see Pakistan as a buffer against India at present, but is not likely to continue its support should an Islamic fundamentalist regime take control in Pakistan.

Unlike most other nuclear powers, Pakistan has never publicly stated that they would not be the first to use nuclear weapons in a wartime situation. There is also evidence that some Pakistani scientists have sought to export bomb-making know-how throughout the Islamic world, seeing this as the best way to deter Israeli and American aggression. If the blowback from Afghanistan brings down the Musharraf regime, we could well find ourselves faced with a major conflagration in the areaÖ a conflagration which could very well include a nuclear exchange.

Dawn (English Language Pakistan Paper)
http://www.dawn.com

Pakistan News Service
http://paknews.com/

Pakistan Today
http://www.paktoday.com/


Mike Doughty



none now
-------


South By Southwest 2014
David DeVoe

South By Southwest 2013
David DeVoe

Red Hook Music Festival
George Dow

SXSW 2012
David DeVoe

Our Favorite Records 2011
Hybrid Staff

AWOLNation
Rachel Fredrickson

Kanrocksas
Rachel Fredrickson

Warped Tour 2011
Rachel Fredrickson

Eddie Spaghetti
Melissa Skrbic-Huss

Murder By Death
Mike DeLeo


Mike Doughty
Boulder, CO

Epilogues
Denver, CO

Imagine Dragons
Denver, CO

Sebadoh
Cambridge, MA

Young Magic
Denver, CO

Warped Tour 2012
Denver, CO

Thrice
Denver, CO

Mike Doughty
Denver, CO

MuteMath
Kansas City, MO

Other Lives
Lawrence, KS

Los Campesinos
Boston, MA

The Civil Wars
Lawrence, KS

Ha Ha Tonka
Lawrence, KS

Thrice
Lawrence, KS


 
hybridmagazine.com is updated daily except when it isn't.
New film reviews are posted every week like faulty clockwork.
Wanna write for hybrid? Send us an e-mail.
© 1996-2009 [noun] digital media. All rights reserved worldwide. All content on hybridmagazine.com and levelheadedmusic.com is the intellectual property of Hybrid Magazine and its respective creators. No part of hybridmagazine.com or levelheadedmusic.com may be reproduced in any format without expressed written permission. For complete masthead and physical mailing address, Click Here.