Zakaria: Support Pakistani people, not military
A Pakistani paramilitary soldier keep watch during an Ashura procession in Quetta on December 17, 2010.
May 12th, 2011
10:00 AM ET

Zakaria: Support Pakistani people, not military

We've been talking over the last few months about the quandary for the United States in the Arab world, which was that we supported all these Arab dictatorships because we needed them and we needed the stability. But it turned out that we were spawning a very anti-American society underneath those dictatorships.

There's one other country that's like that. It happens to be non-Arab. It’s Pakistan.

Pakistan is a big country. When we think about Pakistan, it’s important to remember that it is 5.5 times the size of Afghanistan in population. Put differently, Pakistan's population equals half the entire Arab world.

Now, remember, all of al Qaeda's major leaders have been caught in Pakistan. The country has the highest proportion of jihadist elements. Just look at polls that talk about support for bin Laden and support for jihad.

Part of our problem is that we support a Pakistani military that does some of the things we want them to do while underneath them broils this very chaotic society.

So I would suggest that we take a lesson from the Arab world. We need to start moving from supporting the Pakistani regime and the Pakistani state to supporting Pakistani society and the Pakistani people.

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Topics: From Fareed • Military • Pakistan

soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. OpinionIndia

    For Pakistanis who say US should leave the region, here is the response :

    Why should USA leave the region,US would not have come unless Sept 11 happened from the region which included Paki conspirators 🙂 .Before sept 11 , Pakistan was supporting Taliban in Afghanistan 🙂 the only nation on earth ( probably saudis also) .Then after US started bombing Afghanistan , Pakistan had to shamefully airlift 16000 Paki soldiers from Afghanistan who were with the Taliban 🙂

    You Pakistanis should leave the region or go to another planet.We wish we can catapult you and your people across to another planet 🙂 as we believe in value of human life , we don't wanna harm you 🙂 , but we just don't want you to be on earth 🙂 .

    You can settle in the this neo planet and then fight among yourselves( we know how shias are attacked in your country and there will be no use of your Blasphemy law, we will gladly take your minorities ) as you will have no neighbours..No India or America or Israel 🙂

    May 14, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  2. OpinionIndia

    😦 😦 PAK TERROR 😦 😦 PAK TERROR 😦 😦 PAK TERROR 😦 😦

    Chief Foreign affairs correspondent of CBS Lara Logan after speaking to "top Intelligence and Military officials in the United States" says that all of them are UNANIMOUS THAT

    IT IS INCONCEIVABLE THAT PAKISTAN DID NOT KNOW THE LOCATION OF BIN LADEN 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    IT IS INCONCEIVABLE THAT OSAMA BIN LADEN WAS HIDING OUT IN THIS CITY WHICH IS CRAWLING WITH RETIRED MILITARY OFFICIALS OR MILITARY CADETS(PAKISTANI) OR ACTIVE MILITARY PERSONNEL ...

    THIS COMPOUND WAS 8 TIMES LARGER THAN ANY OTHER BUILDING IN AREA...IT IS IMPROBABLE THAT PEOPLE LIVING IN THAT CITY ( ABBOTABAD ) , LET ALONE MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT HAD NO IDEA ,NEVER ASKED A QUESTION ABOUT IT, ...

    IF IT CAME TO THE ATTENTION OF US INTELLIGENCE THEN IT CENTAINLY WOULD HAVE COME TO THE ATTENTION OF PAKISTANI INTELLIGENCE,THEIR MILITARY BRASS,

    ..MOST OF THE OFFICIALS SAY THAT PAKISTAN HAS BEEN LAUGHING AT THE United States , LAUGHING IN THE FACES OF THE AMERICANS BECAUSE THEY HAVE KNOWN ALL ALONG THAT OSAMA BIN LADEN IS THERE

    AND PAKISTANIS STOOD UP AND SAID THAT OSAMA BIN LADEN WAS NOT IN PAKISTAN .....

    BUT NOT ONLY IS HE IS PAKISTAN ,BUT HE NOW ,TURNS OUT TO BE RIGHT AMONGST THE "MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT" ITSELF

    PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID OSAMA BIN LADEN WAS FOUND "DEEP INSIDE" PAKISTAN

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y723IjRAcKg&w=640&h=360]
    ..NOT IN THE BORDER WITH AFGHANISTAN , NOT IN CAVE

    MOMENT OF TRUTH HAS ARRIVED ...WORLD SHOULD DISMEMBER PAKISTAN , IMPOUND ITS NUCLEAR WEAPONS THEN GO FOR A WAR TO ELIMINATE ALL TERRORISTS HIDING INSIDE PAKISTAN

    AMERICAS GREATEST ENEMY IS NOT AL QAEDA, ITS PAKISTAN 😦 😦 😦 😦

    😦 😦 PAK TERROR 😦 😦 PAK TERROR 😦 😦 PAK TERROR 😦 😦

    May 17, 2011 at 4:05 am | Reply
  3. kamran

    Mr. Zakaria is correct. Those in the intelligence services should be brought to justice. TThere should be more accountability for politicians, with actions to freeze their foreign accounts. The saudi funded madrassas should be shut down or brought under govt controll..
    Pakistanis still love their country and believe in it.
    Their love for their country should not be underestimated.
    All fanatsies about dismembering Pakistan will remain as such.
    Despite wars, other problems, and strategically unfortunate position,Pakistan has produced more than its size, population and resources
    World class in Squash- 7 times
    Hockey champions,
    cricket champions
    bridge champions
    Nobel laureate in physics
    one of the worlds best airforces, army.
    Islam is not wahabism.
    Hinduism survived because of tolerism by muslims leaders. It has its own problems of caste system.
    Pakistanis have no ill will against india.
    Pakistan should distance itself from Saudi arabia.

    May 22, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  4. saad

    hi to all. acca student. pakistan will not get better until pakistani people realise what their so caled respectfull army has been doing in country,,,, beggig america for weapons and dollars. killing own pakistani reporters............ pakistani peoplle are emotional fools... emotionalalyy blackmailed by pak army

    October 2, 2011 at 7:25 am | Reply
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