Now that the US is openly sending troops and airplanes into northern Pakistan, the situation is getting more tense. Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani has stated that Pakistan can defend its own borders (and his assertion has even made matters tense between him and Zardari, who was sworn in as President this week).
Yesterday, when asked by a BBC reporter if the US government is resigned to the low regard people in Pakistan have toward the US, Richard Boucher, the US Secretary of State for South and Central Asia stated: “What are you going to do? You have to do the right thing no matter what…It’s not done for short-term popularity or for political advantage. It’s done because we have a fundamental interest in developing Pakistan as a nation and integrating these wayward parts into the nation into the whole system… What we do for Pakistanis and what we do for people and for the nation of Pakistan is that if we can in the end produce a Pakistan for its people that has more opportunity, where they feel safer, where they have access to education, then we’ll get credit for it. But we have to do the right thing whether we’re getting immediate results on popularity polls or not…I think our fundamentals are good. I think we just have to keep doing it.”
I didn’t know that bombings built a nation. I didn’t know that the US was vested in “producing” Pakistan for the benefit of the Pakistani people. I’m learning more every day. (And trying not to scream as the larger scenario unfolds in front of us.)