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Pakistan Allows Terrorism to Flourish

June 14, 2002

The arrest of Jose Padilla (Abdullah al Muhajir) for training to develop "dirty" bombs in Pakistan, and the nuclear threats from Pakistan during the recent tensions in South Asia should leave no doubt that our foreign policy with regard to Pakistan has been flawed and has allowed terrorists to flourish. Nuclear bombs and nuclear scientists in Pakistan are the biggest threat to the world today because they can easily fall into the hands of terrorists like Al Qaeda.

We have been reluctant to take on the religious extremists in Pakistan and governmental agencies like the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, which trains and funds them. Why? Our foreign policy has been short-term, focused and morally corrupt for decades. The CIA gave billions of dollars to the ISI during the 1980s to train the Afghanistan jihadis to fight the Soviets. After the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan, the ISI used the same funds to create the Taliban and to start a terrorist movement against India in Kashmir. Our government has shown a tendency to ignore terrorism against nonallied countries. Terrorism created by Pakistan has traditionally been targeted at India.

It is time to realize that terrorism is not localized; it's a global threat that will strike us with as much fury as it hits countries like India and Israel. The U.S. government needs to change the policy of coddling military dictators like Gen. Pervez Musharraf and hold them accountable for shutting down conventional and nuclear terrorism. That is the only path for peace in South Asia and for the entire world.

Amit Goyal

Menlo Park, Calif.

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