Osama bin Laden joins election campaign in Pakistan
Parliamentary elections are coming soon in Pakistan. President Pervez Musharraf promised the Pakistani people that democracy will flourish in his country after the elections. To tell the truth, his words are slightly trusted in Pakistan as well as in other countries. This is because the Pakistani authorities too actively prevent political opponents, and not only Islamic radicals, from participation in elections.
The Pakistani election struggle on the whole differs from those in Europe or America. The other day, for instance, a plane dropping propaganda leaflets was shot down in a Pakistani province. Today, Reuters reported that Osama bin Laden joined the election struggle in Pakistan.
A letter signed by some “Osama bin Mohammad bin Laden” was circulated in Afghani refugee camps in the northwestern city of Peshawar, close to the Afghan border, on Wednesday. We say some “ Osama bin Mohammad bin Laden” because it is practically impossible to establish the identity of the author of the letter. However, Reuters mentions an Afghan expert alleging that the letter is authentic and Osama bin Laden is the author. However, this is not something that actually matters now.
The letter is a direct appeal to overthrow the Pakistani president: "My Pakistani Muslim brothers...get rid of the shameful Musharraf. My call is especially to the Pakistani clerics".
The author of the letter hates Musharraf for his active participation with the USA in chasing down al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Pakistan was created as a “fort of Islam,” but “regrettably, it has turned into an American base from where it has been shedding the blood of Muslims and destroying their towns and cities.” The letter calls upon Muslims to defend their mujahideen brothers and prevent the crusaders and their allies from overpowering them.
This is just another message from bin Laden, not the first, and very likely not the last one.
Meanwhile, it is still not clear whether the number one terrorist is alive or not. Therefore, it is not ruled out that the letter was written by someone in a Pakistani extremist group who is sympathetic with al-Qaeda. And it is quite natural that the appeals have been distributed in the Afghani refugee camps. The camps, where life is very far from being called heavenly, are very often used for different radical actions since the time of the Soviet presence in Afghanistan, and the example with the Taliban is just another confirmation.
The upcoming election campaign in Pakistan promises to be rather stormy. Can you guess what will be the subject of the next letter from bin Laden, or from someone who uses his name as a cover?
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/10/10/48230.html
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now