Abdul Qadeer Khan, Pakistan's national hero who peddled nuclear weapons secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya, now has his own political party to promote his presidential ambitions. He is also a media columnist and his anti-U.S. lucubrations are read in both English and Urdu.
Khan's close ally Hamid Gul is the former intelligence chief who invented the world's most preposterous canard: The CIA and Mossad, Israel's intelligence service, staged the 9/11 terrorist attacks against New York's twin towers and the Pentagon. Gul's canard is believed to this day by an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis — and countless millions in scores of countries.
Khan is the “father” of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, based on plans stolen from a Dutch nuclear research facility. His new political party — Movement for the Protection of Pakistan, or Tehreek Tahaffuze Pakistan — is the platform he is using to get himself elected to Parliament next April. He claims to have 2 million party members.
The national hero thinks of himself in the role of Lee Kwan Yew, the founder of modern Singapore, who turned a steamy tropical swampland into a vibrant city nation that is the envy of countless other countries.
The deal with North Korea made strategic sense for Pakistan. In exchange for nuclear wherewithal, North Korea gave Pakistan missile technology. Khan told Simon Henderson, as he reported in Foreign Policy magazine, that the North Koreans set up a plant in Pakistan to produce the Nodong missile, the delivery vehicle Pakistan sought for its nuclear warheads.
Successive Pakistani governments, Khan said, knew what he was doing. Former President Pervez “Musharraf gave all our highly classified and secret information to the U.S., the U.K., Japan and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and sent invaluable centrifuge samples to the U.S. and IAEA. He even gave them centrifuge drawings worth billions of dollars just to gain their patronage. For that, he is a traitor.”
Then, Khan says defiantly, “I don't care what Western leaders think about me.
“Nobody in Pakistan doubts my integrity, honesty, sincerity or patriotism,” he tells Henderson.
There are two years left on the clock in Afghanistan to total U.S. and NATO withdrawal. There is no face-saving deal without Pakistan. But there isn't one with Pakistan, either.
In recent years, China has gradually displaced U.S. influence in Pakistan. From the building of a new port and naval base at Gwadar on the Arabian Sea to a deal under negotiation for 250 JF-17 fighter bombers, two nuclear power plants, China has moved quietly to become the dominant foreign power in Pakistan.
India doesn't like what it sees as an emerging geopolitical horizon of Chinese power that would stretch in a semicircle from northwest to northeast. India doesn't forget China invaded its northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh in 1962.
Phase-out plans state Congress is expected to vote each year for 10 years $7 billion in economic aid and $4 billion in security assistance for the Afghan army — a grand long-range commitment of $110 billion.
A similar commitment to South Vietnam in 1973 lasted two years. Congress then pulled the plug and North Vietnam's Communist army marched into Saigon.
The next administration will have to plan for a different ending.
Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor-at-large of The Washington Times and United Press International.