Analysis by Rachel Avraham from the world summit on counter-terrorism
To the contrary of the international perception, Pakistan poses an international security risk and many Arab countries are using Pakistan as their role model in the wake of the Arab Spring.
Archive: Terror Attack in Pakistan Photography: AP
Speaking at the World Summit on Counter-Terrorism, Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress and author of “The Jew is Not My Enemy,” emphasized that although Pakistan is presently not on the Israeli radar screen, the country poses a number of security risks for the State of Israel. According to Fatah, Pakistan “already has 100 nuclear weapons and has a great zeal against unbelievers.” He noted how Pakistan’s armed forces are full of Islamists and that even the non-Islamists pose a security risk. “If there is a country that they hate more than India, it’s Israel,” he proclaimed.
Pakistan is a country that persecutes the other. They “slaughter religious minorities” and hatred of both Jews and Hindus is prominent. In 1971, Pakistan committed“genocide against Bangladesh.” However, since the Hindu population has largely been “liquidated” and the country lacks a Jewish community, Pakistan instead refocused their energies on persecuting other groups, such as Ahmadi Muslims, who have been massacred and accused of being “Zionist spies.”
Nevertheless, Fatah emphasized that just because Pakistan is presently focused on other groups does not mean that they don’t still pose a risk to Israel. He noted Pakistani involvement in the World Trade Center bombing, the bombing of the USS Cole, the bombing of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, as well as a series of other terrorist attacks. Fatah believes that Pakistan has been responsible for more terror attacks than Iran or Syria, yet receives a fraction of the attention. Pakistan “provides the ideological basis for terrorism. Pakistan is a more serious terror threat than Iran or Syria.” Pakistan is “fertile” ground for “racist Islamic extremists.”
Pakistan is only 3000 kilometers from Israel. They have missiles that are capable of reaching Israel with nuclear weapons on them. While former Pakistani President Musharraf was more moderate and cut missile funding upon learning that the missiles could be aimed at Israel, the new colonels in Pakistan are “Islamists. It is a sign of a serious disaster.”
Pakistan as a Model for the Arab World
Qanta Ahmed, author of “In the Land of Invisible Women,” is deeply concerned that Pakistan is becoming the role model for the Arab world. She noted how Pakistan not only “persecutes minorities” but the Pakistani Taliban has also prevented the implementation of the anti-polio vaccine within the country. The Islamists “seek absolute domination” and view “democracy as a train, where they can ride on it” in order to pursue their political objectives. However, their system of government is in reality “totalitarianism mixed with religion.”
In the Arab world, like in Pakistan, minority rights and pluralism are not respected. In the wake of the Arab Spring, “it is the rule of the tyrannical majority. There is no equal education, no appetite for questions, and no political participation.” She called upon Arab countries not to use the Pakistani model but to implement a strong secular liberal democracy and to take a “strong stance against Islamism.” Ahmed emphasized, “If not, not only the minorities but Islam itself will be extinct.”