The Blog

Pakistan's 'Reverse Psychology' Peace Accords

11:23 AM, May 14, 2009 • By BILL ROGGIO
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Husain Haqqani, Pakistan's Ambassador to the U.S. appeared on The Daily Show with John Stewart last evening to explain his government's fight against the Taliban. The interview highlights the schizophrenia that is Pakistan. Haqqani describes the Taliban as "a nuisance" and tries to convince us that the government pulled a bait and switch on the Taliban by signing the most recent peace deal. Here is what he said:

"President Zardari He did something very smart, when he was with President Obama recently he explained it. He actually told the American government 'I am going to do this deal to try to prove to those within Pakistan and in Pakistan's state apparatus who think that these guys can be negotiated with, I will negotiate with them only to prove that you can't negotiate with them because they will break the deal, and as soon as they broke the deal the Army is back in, the fighting is going on and you can see the results."

But nothing could be further from the truth. The Zardari government has a long history of cutting peace deals with the Taliban since it took power in March 2008. Prior to the signing of the Malakand Accord this February, peace agreements were made with the Taliban in South Waziristan, Swat, Malakand, Mohmand, Mardan, Hangu, Khyber, Arakzai, and Bajaur. Each of these agreements failed. So why did President Zardari need to prove yet again that the agreement would fail?

Also, Haqqani told us just a few weeks back that the government never negotiated with the Taliban, but local clerics. So which is it?

If we take Haqqani at his word (or his latest word) then government has knowingly condemned a large segment of its population to the deprivations of the Taliban for, as John Stewart called it, a dose of reverse psychology, after it had ample evidence that peace deals aren't worth the paper they are signed on. And none of this takes into account the fact that the Pakistani government implements policies by actively lying to its people.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10cHusain Haqqanithedailyshow.comDaily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor