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by our Pakistan observer

If the U.S. was trying hard to lose friends and gain enemies in Pakistan, it succeeded. The FBI swooped down on a family of physicians on the outskirts of Lahore and arrested nine people, mostly physicians.

The raid was led by the FBI but the dirty work was done by Musharref's special forces.

Two of those arrested are U.S. citizens and one a Canadian citizen, all members of the same family known for its charitable services both in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Just because some of them visited Afghanistan to help the needy, they became the targets of the U.S.'s inept and inefficient FBI.

After the arrests, there was a furor of protests in Pakistan. Thousands of people whom the family of physicians had treated came out to protest against U.S. intervention and blocked the G.T. road highway outside Lahore for two hours.

Numerous physicians came out to protest, led by the famous Dr. Aziz who was arrested last month in a similar raid by the FBI and had to be released under Pakistani protests.

The protests this time reached every aspect of society, so much so that even politicians supporting Musharref condemned the raid. In serious damage control, Musharref's prime minister, Jamali, and foreign minister Qasuri claimed that they had no info on FBI inclusion in the raid. Jamali even claimed that he was kept totally in the dark about the raid. [Some observers say that Jamali may be telling the truth, which would indicate that Musharref is dealing with the U.S. even above his own prime minister's head.]

America today has become a dirty name in Pakistan. The U.S. should question the stupidity of its FBI thugs who are ruining whatever chances of goodwill remain for the U.S. in the Muslim world. Kidnaping of Muslim doctors from their homes indicates the desperation and futility of the U.S. in its attempts to catch those elusive enemies who cannot be found.

2002-12-29 Sun 08:16ct