Reports of Pakistan’s impending collapse are frequent. It helps to know a little history. After Benazir Bhutto’s assassination in 2007 there was a wave of tributes. A lot was left out. She was dismissed twice as prime minister for corruption. Her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, was at the center of scandals and went to jail. Beyond that it was Bhutto in 1994 that lent key support to a then obscure group in Afghanistan, the Taliban. Today, Asif Ali Zardari is president. He has an abysmal approval rating, and rarely ventures out of the presidential palace in Islamabad for fear of assassination. And meanwhile the U.S. continues to bomb Pakistan. The result? In a recent Gallup poll when asked what was the biggest threat to Pakistan, 11% identified the Taliban, 18% said India. But an overwhelming number, 59% of respondents said the U.S.
Interview by David Barsamian.
Pervez Hoodbhoy is professor of physics at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad. He writes and lectures on South Asian issues. He appears on major news programs in Pakistan and around the world