Time to declare Pakistan a terrorist state: Salman Rushdie

via IANS published on May 3, 2011

WASHINGTON: It was time to declare Pakistan a terrorist state and “expel it from the comity of nations”, renowned author Salman Rushdie has said following the killing of Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in a US special operation inside Pakistan early Monday.

Writing in his column titled ‘Pakistan’s Deadly Game’ on thedailybeast.com, Rushdie has pointedly asked whether the world is to believe Pakistan when it professes its ignorance about Osama’s presence on its soil in the very town housing its elite military academy, which he describes as “Pakistan’s equivalent of West Point or Sandhurst”.

“In the aftermath of the raid on Abbottabad, all the big questions need to be answered by Pakistan,” the India-born British novelist stated.

“Pakistan’s neighbour India, badly wounded by the Nov 26, 2008, terrorist attacks on Mumbai, is already demanding answers. As far as the anti-Indian jihadist groups are concerned – Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad – Pakistan’s support for such groups, its willingness to provide them with safe havens, its encouragement of such groups as a means of waging a proxy war in Kashmir and, of course, in Mumbai, is established beyond all argument,” Rushdie stated, referring to India’s concerns on Pakistan’s support to terror.

According to Rushdie, it was noteworthy that the first threats of retaliation came from “the so-called Pakistani Taliban ” and “not by any Al Qaeda spokesman”.

“Pakistan, with its nuclear weapons, is a far greater prize than poor Afghanistan, and the generals and spymasters who are playing Al Qaeda’s game today may, if the worst were to happen, become the extremists’ victims tomorrow,” Rushdie stated in a warning to the ruling establishment in nuclear-armed Pakistan.

He stated that given the Abbottabad residence of Osama, it was unlikely the Pakistani power elite would come to its senses any time soon.

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