By Sumayyah Meehan, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)
The worldâ€™s attention has been diverted to the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejadâ€™s, nuclear proliferation sights for months. Things have gotten so heated with the rhetoric between Washington and Iran that countries in the GCC have begun to take precautionary measures in the event that US decides to strike Iran and in case the Iranian response is to lash out at its neighbors. This past October saw unprecedented sanctions being placed on Iran to discourage further advances with the countryâ€™s nuclear program.
With all the attention Iran has been getting, the internal strife in Pakistan has seemingly gone unnoticed. It all began when Nawaz Sharif tried to enter the country and was eventually sent packing back to Saudi Arabia. And then Benazir Bhutto rolls into Pakistan with an entourage befitting a western pop star, which was followed by ensuing bomb blasts that killed dozens of her supporters. The latest trauma has come at the hands of Pakistanâ€™s President Pervez Musharraf who has declared a state of emergency and sacked the Supreme Court. As the drama continues to unfold minute-by-minute, Musharraf is filling his jails with Bhutto supporters and keeps placing her under house arrest where she remains currently in Lahore. The entire country is in turmoil with there being no light at the end of the tunnel.
Letâ€™s not forget that Pakistan is a nuclear nation. They have achieved nuclear proliferation long ago and more than likely have a nuclear arsenal at the Presidentâ€™s fingertips. Unlike Iran, who has barely even scratched the surface of nuclear proliferation and is years away from creating a nuclear bomb if ever. So, the World, especially residents of the GCC, should start worrying about Pakistan instead of Iran. All of the countries in the GCC are within striking range of Pakistan. Now that is not to say that Pakistan would ever strike out at countries within its reach. Quite the contrary. But given the political tensions in the country, who can safely say without a shadow of a doubt that extremists or even members of Al-Qaeda could not get their hands on a nuclear weapon from Pakistanâ€™s arsenal? Certainly not me. Al-Qaeda loyalists routinely travel along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan with Osama Bin Laden himself supposedly residing in the mountain caves along the border. If democracy is not returned to Pakistan soon, and I mean very soon, then the threat of a nuclear threat coming straight out of Pakistan is something that we all will be losing sleep over.
And as for President Musharraf, is he really a man that any of us can trust? His own people despise him so much so that the recent report that he was placed under house arrest by the military left many Pakistani people dancing in the streets. The report turned out to be false with Musharraf himself declaring it was a â€œjokeâ€. But whoâ€™s laughing? This guy seems more bent on staying in power at all costs rather than doing what is best for his people. He even recently appointed a new Supreme Court who â€˜supportâ€™ his third term in office. Rumors have it the original Supreme Court was sacked because they planned to rule that Musharraf was ineligible to run for a third term in the first place. Who knows, Musharraf might take matters into his own hands in the event his fellow countrymen try to push him out of office. I only hope he will go quietly into the night and keep his fingers off any nuclear buttons.