Monday, September 24, 2012
Minister willing to pay for contract killing
So let's imagine that a low ranking Cabinet Minister in the UK, or Australia, or Germany, or Japan, or a Secretary of the US Administration said he would pay a fortune to murder a civilian national of another country - even though that national had not committed a crime in his own country, nor had done anything other than to offend that Minister.
You see, the Pakistani Railways Minister can do it. Although the Pakistani government has made it clear that he doesn't speak for the government, that doesn't mean a blind eye should be turned.
The response to that should be clear and unequivocal, especially from those countries that use their taxpayers' money to spend on aid in this misogynist hate filled cauldron of vileness and sadness.
Ghulam Ahmad Bilour should be fired. If he isn't aid will cease. Regardless, this man should now be banned from entry into the United States, the European Union, Australia and New Zealand. Politicians as much as anyone should not feel free to commission contract killings.
However, I fully expect there to be plenty of hand wringing because removing Bilour would risk collapse of the Pakistani coalition government because he belongs to the small Awami National Party, which is a socialist party with no strong Islamist credentials and only 2% of the votes at the last election meaning it is a small partner in a shaky coalition.
Pakistan officials will no doubt say that firing a Minister for such a comment will risk an Islamist backlash that could see the government folding and a new election resulting in an Islamist government being elected - a risk that isn't particularly likely given Pakistani politics are relatively Islamist as it is, and there is no strong Islamist party in the country (the largest coalition of such parties only gained 2.2% of the vote in 2008.
Still, it is surely an opportunity for the Obama Administration to make it clear that these sorts of threats will not be taken without consequences.