Now we’ve heard that before

The après moi le déluge routine

President Asif Zardari wants the world to bail Pakistan out—financially to the tune of US$100 billon—because, if he fails, Pakistan with its arsenal of 200 nuclear warheads could be toppled by al-Qaeda and its allies.

A remarkably familiar pitch it is. Until a few months ago, it was General Musharraf who was standing between Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and their takover by al-Qaeda radicals.

Well the truth is that bit about nuclear warheads is generally scare-mongering. So is that bit about al-Qaeda toppling governments (the slick, smooth-talking General Musharraf has been replaced by the slick, smooth-talking Mr Zardari). But the bit about a political crisis in Pakistan spilling over and causing problems for other countries is largely true.

To be fair to Mr Zardari, it is true that he is saying altogether new things, of a kind we’ve never heard from a Pakistani president or prime minister before. The questions are whether he really means it (he probably does) and whether that means anything (that’s the US$100 billion question).

15 thoughts on “Now we’ve heard that before”

  1. The questions are whether he really means it (he probably does)

    I would look for more corroborative evidence to establish his ‘real’ position, especially his calling Kashmiri ‘freedom fighters’ as terrorists.

    In fact, I think that the very context in which these comments were made – Pakistan’s economy in a tailspin, political turmoil, etc. – make these remarks even more suspect. But then, I may be wrong…

  2. If the good Mr. Zardari is so concerned about his 200 nuclear weapons, then surely he wouldn’t mind the US or the UN or the IAEA sending personnel to lock them down and secure them.

  3. In that article Bret Stephens says current reserves will cover only 2 months – they are back to 1993 when they were down to only weeks. It’s really strange. It’s like the Land of Pure really doesn’t export much at all to earn hard currency or it was using the $10bil aid from Washington since Sept 11 to prop-up it’s economy. This we suspected when Mush was gung-ho about LoP’s economy and his leadership that enabled it. Does that mean they weren’t’ buying weapons for their eastern border? Something is remiss. Did Mush and his chamchas steal that much money!! Now the Land of Pure is back to the begging bowl…

  4. President Asif Zardari wants the world to bail Pakistan out—financially to the tune of US$100 billon—because, if he fails, Pakistan with its arsenal of 200 nuclear warheads could be toppled by al-Qaeda and its allies.

    *yawn* – another ransom demand from a Pakistani “leader” with a bomb strapped to his chest and a gun to his own head. His views on trade with India, and on the jokers in Kashmir are certainly interesting. Wonder how long he’ll last before he steps on one toe too many.

  5. Pakistan with its arsenal of 200 nuclear warheads could be toppled by al-Qaeda and its allies.

    Now, is there a chance of that really happening?

    What are the possibilities and the scenarios in which it might happen?

    Where are all these 200 nukes? Have they been fixed on missiles ready to be fired at India? Or are they sitting in safe chambers waiting to be loaded?

  6. If Pakistan agrees to hand over all their Nukes and A.Q.Khan, and allow a U.S., India, Israel led committee to oversee the dismantling of all WMD manufacturing facilities, then 100 Billion dollars doesn’t seem so bad.

  7. If Pakistan agrees to hand over all their Nukes and A.Q.Khan, and allow a U.S., India, Israel led committee to oversee the dismantling of all WMD manufacturing facilities, then 100 Billion dollars doesn’t seem so bad.

    Or they could be the Real Bad Boy – back the Taliban (as they did in the 90s), brandish their nukes, create serious heat in Kashmir, proliferate to Iran and Saudi, block US supplies into Afghanistan – and cause markets to lose $1 trillion+. That’s essentially the ransom demand.

  8. Trilok
    Agreed, Read the BBC article, well he is lying against the ‘Old Pakistani Lies’ in these circumstances you’re right, he cannot be termed as a compulsive liar,I ‘rephrase’ my comment:-

    “Zardari is a pathological liar”.

  9. Or Zardari can safely wash his hands and get rid of the weapons at the same time by putting them on EBay. Meg Whitman herself will be happy to be the first one to buy them for Johnny McCain

Comments are closed.