Faisal Shahzad deserves everything coming to him – and that will not be any amount of heavenly houris, I’m glad to say. Despite his made for TV drama that continues to play out, we must not let Faisal and his jihadi masters succeed in their crusade to drive a wedge between the growing Pakistan American friendship.
The News makes quite clear today the importance of continuing to build a close friendship with the Americans:
But the militant threat must not be allowed to wreak the building of trust between Pakistan and the US. Washington must demonstrate that it is indeed a true friend and willing to work in favour of Pakistan’s people. What happens in the aftermath of this failed terrorist attempt is exceedingly significant. In recent months there have been indications that Washington is willing to change its thinking and move towards a relationship that is less coercive and more cooperative. We must hope that such a change in ties does take place. There is potential benefit in that for both nations. The American reaction to the incident at a formal level has been different to that in the past. This time we haven’t received orders but a polite request. The Americans have asked us for our assistance in tracking the movements of Faisal Shahzad while he was in Pakistan during the summer of 2009, and the American ambassador has passed the request to our interior ministry. There is no reason why we should not afford the Americans every assistance. Nobody died, a suspect is in custody and an investigation ongoing. Freely given assistance will send a much more positive message – let us waste no time in sending it.
The American government has reacted in a promising way, looking to Pakistan for cooperation respectfully and not making any blame or demands.
The US on Tuesday said it valued close anti-terrorism cooperation with Pakistan, as Islamabad reportedly made arrests in connection with last weekend’s failed bombing attempt in New York’s Times Square. “We have very close law enforcement and intelligence relationships with Pakistan. I think, you can see, at least, circumstantially by the reporting in the last hour or two that Pakistan takes, you know, this shared threat seriously and is already taking action,” Assistant Secretary of State PJ Crowley said at the daily briefing in the backdrop of the capture of a 30-year-old suspect, Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American. “We appreciate Pakistan’s pledge of cooperation,” he stated. The spokesman said he was aware of reports of some arrests being made in Pakistan but could not confirm any specific actions at the moment. Crowley also praised the contribution of Pakistani-Americans to the US development and said the US was working with its allies to curb violent extremism. “We value our relationship with Pakistan. We value the fact that there are many Pakistanis who have come here to this country, have links to Pakistan and have become citizens of this country.”
Americans, too, are not falling for this plot and are continuing support for Pakistan.
The Taliban, al Qaeda, and other militant groups have demonstrated that they are working to expand their reach across the globe by working in coordination with one another. In doing so, they have managed to amplify the impact of what are actually small groups of dedicated terrorists. To defeat this menace, we must support and coordinate with other pro-democracy movements and governments – especially those on the front lines of the war on terror.
The plot to bomb Americas Time’s Square was clearly meant to isolate Pakistan so that we will be cut off from American support, giving TTP an opportunity to continue their campaign against progress. But this scheme can only succeed if we let it. It is meant to cause confusion, doubt, and mistrust. We will not let those into our minds. We are resolute and determined. We will not give up our nation so easily.