Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wikileaks comes to Pakistan

The Obama administration is going after Julian Assange for leaking, among other things, low grade official or declassified US diplomatic cables. It has gone out of its way to deny direct access to them to Americans.
Now, ironically, these very same cables, is as though Assange's Wikileaks has thrown Obama a line in the wake of the US killing of Osama Bin Laden in a comfortable villa in Abbotabad, Pakistan, and the uproar that assassination has provoked among Pakistan's civilian and military elite, not to scant the rising temperature of popular anti Americanism among the Pakistani masses. They make known and continue to bring to public light that Pakistan's worst enemy is not the US but itself!
Simply explained: in April 2011, Wikileaks turned over 4000 American diplomatic cables dealing with Pakistan to Pakistan's newspaper of note, the English language 'Dawn'.
'Dawn', after analysising the data, will publish them in print and on its website. The info therein, written mainly by Anne Patterson, Washington's ambassatrix to Islamabad, should, and more likely turn up the heat on the military, especially head of the Pakistani army, gen. Kayani, concerning approval of US drones; the civilian leadership's recognition of the efficacy of these raids in taking out Taliban leaders, yet sparing civilian lives to a great number. Furthermore, it blackens the bona fides of Nawaz Sharif, leader of Pakistan's powerful opposition party, who favoured suppressing the independent judiciary, which the attempts by Mushariff to sideline the supreme court judge Chaudry, led to his downfall.
Wikileaks' agreement provides the Obama administration ammuniation, which US diplomats created but revealed by an non American sourse, with a stronger hand to deal with a testy ally that has relied on anti Americanism to bolster its standing with its own people.
The diplomatic documents should sharpen criticism of Pakistani elite, military or civilian, who play for power on a medieval chessboard of fiefdoms, temporary alliances, and endless scheming for complete power. They have not hesitated to broker deals with the Taliban and al Qaeda that lead us sarcastically are eroding their base of power.
With 'Dawn's' has poked its journalistic finger into this sorry puffery and put Pakistani top leaders on the spot. Even though the 4000 documents might not immediately lower anti American fever, they will in the longer run turn to the US' advantage, not only on Afghanistan but also providing a restraint or two on Pakistan's proclivity to go to war, in one form or another, with India.

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