In an interview to Fahad Faruqui of Aaj Television, Chomsky, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said Pakistan is now in danger of collapsing, with a rebellion in Balochistan, the FATA territories being out of control and unrest in Sindh because of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. While conceding that the people of Pakistan want democracy, he was sceptical that those hopes are near being realised in the existing political and social system in answer to a question that democratic governments, when they do not function, can be authoritarian. For Pakistan to become a democracy, he said, it should develop political and social arrangements in which the population can actually determine effective policy.
Asked about “clash of civilizations”, Chomsky answered the concept was invented by Bernard Lewis, a scholar of Islam, who has a bitter hatred for Islam. Samuel Huntington, who made it famous, picked it up. The conception is supposed to be that the United States and its Western allies are civilised, enlightened and liberal, while the Islamic world is developing in the opposite direction, towards “Islamofacism”, which is backward, regressive and violent, which does not understand the West’s “elevated ideals”.
Alliance harmful: In answer to the question whether Pakistan can move towards democracy that it has unsuccessfully tried several times, Chomsky said, “For Pakistan, its alliance with the United States, I think, has been quite harmful throughout its history. The United States has tried to convert Pakistan into its highly militarized ally and has supported its military dictatorship. The Reagan administration strongly supported the Ziaul Haq tyranny, which had a very harmful affect on Pakistan, and the Reagan administration even pretended they didn’t know that Pakistan was developing nuclear weapons. Of course they knew, but they had to pretend they didn’t, so that Congress would continue to fund their support for Pakistan, for the army, and for the ISI, all part of their support for the mujahideen in Afghanistan, which was not intended to help the Afghans. We know that very well, just from what happened afterwards. It was intended to harm the Russians, so the Reagan administration was using Pakistan as a way to kill the Russians. Actually, that was the term that was used by the head of the CIA station in Pakistan that ‘we have to kill Russians,’ not that the poor Afghans would suffer, but who cares.”