from the world's big
Pakistan Wants to Control Afghanistan
Jere Van Dyk: No. I think that when you look at the \r\nhistory of Pakistan, when it was formed in 1947, the only country that \r\nvoted against its being allowed entry into the United Nations was \r\nAfghanistan, and that had to do with the border region. In 1948 when \r\nPakistan was trying to wrest Kashmir from India, it took men from the \r\ntribal areas, Pashtuns, and used them to fight against India as a \r\nguerrilla force. And they almost captured Srinigar, the capital.
Realizing\r\n the power of these Pashtuns, of these tribal men, their fierceness as \r\nwarriors, their tradition as fighters, and their belief in Islam, they \r\nused them to create—they were the vanguard in the beginnings and the \r\nleadership of the Mujahadeen, America's and Pakistan's ally against the \r\nSoviet Union in the 1980s. When I returned from Afghanistan in the \r\n1980s and worked as a consultant for the State Department, and the \r\nNational Security Council, in the Reagan Administration, the United \r\nStates and Pakistan took these Mujahadeen, these men that had been \r\nbrought up to power, and they created a government called the "Afghan \r\nMujahadeen Government in Exile." I was their guide when they came to \r\nNew York to present their credentials to the United Nations.
When\r\n they—when the Mujahadeen disintegrated and began to fight amongst \r\nthemselves, out of this came the Taliban. The Taliban in a great many \r\nways are the sons, and the grandsons, and the younger brothers of the \r\nmost militant members of the Mujahadeen. One of the most prominent \r\nmembers of the Taliban, a man named Hakani, who I lived with in the \r\n1980's, who had an Arab visit... an Egyptian Army officer come and stay \r\nwith us, who I later figured out was one of the very beginnings of al \r\nQaeda.
When this occurred, I began to realize the close ties \r\nbetween al Qaeda and the Mujahadeen; this man today, Hakani, is one of \r\nthe leaders of the Taliban. Only three countries, when the Taliban took\r\n over Afghanistan, granted it diplomatic recognition. Principal among \r\nthem: Pakistan. Secondly, Saudi Arabia. Thirdly, the United Arab \r\nEmirates. No other country in the world.
Pakistan's foreign \r\npolicy is to prevent itself from being surrounded by India, afraid that \r\nIndia would use Afghanistan to surround Pakistan. It wants to... In \r\n2006, Major General Shaukat Sultan, presidential spokesman for President\r\n Pervez Musharref told me: "All our invasions come from the West." \r\nPashtuns feel that the lands inside Pakistan that go all the way to the \r\nIndus River are theirs. They do not accept the Durand Line, the border \r\nbetween Afghanistan and Pakistan. Not one single legislature in the \r\nhistory of Afghanistan has ever accepted this border.
The \r\nPakistani army is comprised of Punjabis, the Pakistani—it's led by \r\nPunjabis. The main ethnic —the most populous, and the richest, the most\r\n accomplished ethnic group in Pakistan—the bureaucracy of Pakistan is \r\nrun by Punjabis. They are at war with the Pashtuns to prevent the \r\nPashtuns from going back and taking the lands that were once theirs that\r\n stretch all the way to the Indus River.
In a meeting I had with \r\nPresident Karzai he lamented the fact that so many Pashtun lands are now\r\n in the hands of Pakistan. So Pakistan has a geopolitical goal of \r\nsurrounding India, to prevent itself from being reconquered by the \r\nPashtuns, and thirdly it wants to, in my view, recreate the Mughal \r\nMuslim empire... thereby establishing trade relationships with Sunni \r\nCentral Asia, taking over Afghanistan, to expand it's reach, and finally\r\n in order to gain access to the most important resource it needs and is \r\ndesperately in shortage of: water. All water comes from—the main water \r\nsources of Pakistan come from India, and they come from Afghanistan.
Question: How worried should we be about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons?
Jere Van Dyk: There have been many reports of how the \r\nUnited States has contingency plans, we have to take over those nuclear \r\narms if something were to go terribly awry in Pakistan. Those arms \r\nthemselves cannot be directed against the United States. Pakistan is \r\ntoo far away from the United States. It's not the Soviet Union, which \r\nhad missiles that were capable of reaching our soil.
The fact \r\nthat members of the Pakistani military are deeply religious and would be\r\n aligned with al Qaeda and would try to help those people... help al \r\nQaeda get those weapons and access to them and therefore help them with \r\nall their abilities to reach the West, yes, I do think that that's a \r\nthreat. But I think it's a long-term threat. I personally don't worry \r\nabout that. I think that a far greater threat is the continuation of \r\nthe war on television, which radicalizes young men in the West like this\r\n man who went and tried to do what he did in Times Square. I think that\r\n is a much greater threat to the United States in the short term than \r\nany nuclear arms falling into al Qaeda.
Recorded June 29. 2010
Interviewed by Max Miller
The U.S. should be wary of its "ally" Pakistan, says Van Dyk.
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- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
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