One of the problems with Pakistan is that radical Islamic ideology is fully intertwined with the government and the armed forces at all levels. When Western governments attempt to pick winners and losers among the factions vying for power in Pakistan, there is no real way to avoid the extremists and terrorists. Whether it is made up of elected civilians or military officers, most governments in Pakistan seem to be riddled with terrorist connections. A government that is relatively free of such connections — such as the current one under President Asif Al Zardari — will tend to be ineffective, due to a lack of accord with public opinion, much of which has sympathies with fundamentalist Islam.
Now comes the court martial of officers in the Pakistani air force for their connections with Islamic terror. I wonder how large a proportion of the officer corps is represented by these 50+ suspects, and how well they reflect the opinions of those lower in the hierarchy.
According to AKI:
Pakistan: Dozens of Airforce Officials ‘Court-Martialled’
Islamabad, 24 June (AKI) — A total 26 Pakistan Air Force officials have been court martialled after being found guilty of links with terrorists. Six of the group have been sentenced to death.
The men were among over 50 PAF officials arrested on charges of having links with terrorist organisations, unnamed sources told Pakistan’s Geo News.
The six PAF officials sentenced to death include two senior technicians named as Karamdin and Khalid Mehmood; a carpool technician named as Nawazish; and three junior technicians named as Niaz, Nasrullah and Adnan, sources said.
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The men were among as many as 57 officials arrested in the Pakistani cities of Lahore, Kamra, Sargodha, Mianwali and Karachi, according to the sources.
Of 57 officials also included 26 officials who were court-martialled and sentenced to between three and half and 17 years in jail.
According to the sources, investigations of some of the PAF officials and their suspected terrorist links began under former president Pervez Musharraf.
An unnamed high-ranking PAF official and a carpool technician named as Amir who are also wanted for suspected terrorist links remain at large.
Given the extensive enthusiasm for Islamic terror found throughout Pakistani society, how qualified do you think the State Department is to pick out “moderates” to help install in power?
Hat tip: C. Cantoni.