Tuesday, April 20, 2010

10 Min Update, Dori Smith speaks with Muhammad Khurshid in Pakistan about week of April terror

A Talk Nation Radio news update with Dori Smith, April 20, 2010

Download at Radio4all.net Archive.org

A Week of April Terror in Peshawar, Pakistan, leaves civilians scrambling for safety. An influx of US dollars has been feeding corruption at the top levels of government in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Civilian populations are caught between rival factions. We interviewed Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of the Bajaur Agency area, at the Pak/Afghan border.

During a week of April terror in Peshawar Pakistan. The death toll has risen to over a hundred with hundreds seriously wounded. The terror attacks carried out in busy market places or bazaars including the Storyteller’s Bazaar, and the Board Bazaar region where a five year old was among the dead in a blast near a police school.

On Tuesday the 20th, a blast tore through a crowd protesting frequent power cuts in Pakistan killing dozens. The protest said to have been organized by an extreme right wing religious group called, Jamaat-e-Islamiya. Several police and political officials are among the dead.

We spoke with journalist Muhammad Khurshid just hours after one of the blasts. He described a situation of chaos in which people view both the Pakistan and Afghan governments as collapsing, and find themselves trapped between rival militant groups and war lords. He blames the crisis overall on an influx of US dollars.

We will be discussing these developments with Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald on this week’s Talk Nation Radio. (Listen live www.whus.org, Wed. 5 PM 4/20 EDT) You can read reports from Muhammad Khurshid at OPED news and other outlets and he has plans to write a book about the collapse of Pakistan’s government system and regional violence.

Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald are authors of Invisible History, Afghanistan's Untold Story, see book at City Lights. In this week's Talk Nation Radio half hour we discuss their soon to be published book, Crossing Zero, "the line between Pakistan and Afghanistan is known by the defense establishment and the intelligence community as zero line," (Paul Fitzgerald, 4/19/10 interview).

Week of April Terror in 1979, Pakistan's Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was assassinated.

From Invisible History: "For twenty years, Brzezinski and the CIA maintained the cover story that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was a naked act of aggression while arming the so-called mujahideen rebels was simply an act of self-defense. In the 1998 interview with a French news magazine Le Nouvelle Observateur, Brzezinski changed that story, admitting for the first time that the program had begun fully six months before as part of a plan to “draw the Russians into the Afghan trap.” 25 Whether Brzezinski’s single act of arming the rebels was the deciding factor in pushing the Soviets to invade six months later is irrelevant at this late date. In hindsight it is easy to see how his manipulations triggered the last phase of an elaborate scheme already set in motion by Nixon, Kissinger, and an axis of interests working to lure the Soviets into a confrontation wherever they were certain to lose. Setting the tone for the horror that was about to begin, on April 4 Pakistan’s leader General Zia-ul-Haq executed deposed president Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. 26 That spring President Carter was provoked to cut all aid to Pakistan’s military by the revelation of Zia’s efforts to develop an atomic bomb." (From, PART II: AFGHANISTAN FROM THE 1970s TO 2001, Invisible History, Afghanistan's Untold Story.)

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