Intelligence: Scandal Power


September 22, 2015: In August the Pakistani government admitted that corruption in the issuance of government identity documents had become a serious internal security problem. Pakistan also admitted that it wasn’t just Pakistani Islamic terrorists and gangsters buying these fake ID documents, but also foreign Islamic terrorists. This was no secret to many other countries and for over a decade there had been growing pressure, mainly from the West but also from Russia and China, demanding Pakistan do something about this problem. Now Pakistan is officially admitting the problem exists, agrees that it is a serious matter for everyone (including Pakistan) and that something must be done. The problem with corruption in Pakistan is that it is like the weather; everyone talks about but no one seems able to do anything about it.

This admission is part of a welcome trend. Since 2013 Pakistan has been making a real effort to deal with Islamic terrorists, which the government had been tolerating since the late 1970s. That was when one of the military dictators (who have alternated with elected governments since the 1960s) decided that using religious radicalism and Islamic terrorists would be a useful weapon. That eventually backfired and by 2013 it was clear that many of the formerly supported or simply tolerated Islamic terror groups inside Pakistan were a serious threat to Pakistan itself.

Another incentive to deal with Islamic terrorism came in 2012 when some Wikileaks documents proved very embarrassing, as they detailed government support for the "secret" American UAV operations over the tribal territories. Pakistani officials had long publicly, loudly and ineffectively opposed these UAV operations. Wikileaks also documented a lot of the corruption in Pakistan and that got some retired generals are arguing via the media about rigged elections in the 1990s. All this is nothing new for most Pakistanis but the perpetrators going public about it is. The generals are saying they rigged elections "for the good of the country." But they used the power they obtained to get rich and get away with murder. Things are changing in Pakistan, despite decades of efforts to prevent that.



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