Tuesday, May 6, 2008

US intensifies its control over Pakistan’s new civilian government

Washington has demanded direct access to Pakistan’s Nuclear Command Authority (NCA), the body that controls the country’s nuclear weapons. To show that it will not take “no” for an answer, Washington has posted an officer at its embassy in Islamabad to liaise with the NCA. Other demands include allowing US personnel to enter Pakistan on the basis of national identity (such as a driver’s licence), foregoing visas and passports; accepting US licences, including arms licences, in Pakistan; US personnel being allowed to bear arms and wear their uniform in Pakistan; and exemption of American personnel from Pakistani law if they commit a crime. There are close parallels between these demands and those that were imposed on Iran during the Shah’s rule, which led ultimately to the Islamic Revolution in Iran (1978-79).

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