PRESIDENT Bush, much before he had laid out plans to invade Iraq for possessing weapons for mass destruction (WMD) and its alleged link to al-Qaeda operation, was also actively considering options to teach both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia a good lessons for trading in illicit weapons. Pakistan has repeatedly been mentioned as the 'exporter' of nuclear technology by the media here.
This has been divulged in the American edition of a book titled 'lawless world' written by Philippe Sands, a teacher at the University College, London and a practicing lawyer. The report was carried by New York Times (NYT) last Friday.
President Bush has been publicly chastising Iran, North Korea and Iraq as members of the 'Axis of Evil " but never added the names of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, two staunchest allies of US in its war against the Islamist Jihadists -- also known in America and the West as the terrorists. These views were exchanged between President Bush and Prime Minister Blair in course of a telephonic conversation the two had in 2003. The British government has not questioned the veracity of the disclosure.
Both the White House and the British Embassy refused to make comments on the matter. Pakistan tested its first nuclear device in 1998 in response to India's detonation of a nuclear bomb. The United States suspects Saudi Arabia also developed nuclear bomb by borrowing technology from Pakistan.
Saudia Arabia has vehemently denied possessing nuclear bomb.
Meanwhile, there is concern here in the United States over the reemergence of several Islamic charities which had gone into hibernation. These charities have reemerged again after the deadly earthquake left a trail of death and destruction in South Asia, particularly in Pakistan where death toll from the calamity will run into 40,000 people.
There is a fear here that a part of the donations collected by the
Islamic charity organisations may be diverted to the terrorists groups.
The FBI cracked down on several Muslim charities after 9/11 stating that they served as conduit for terrorist operations. The Justice Department froze the assets of several Muslim organisations and at least two Muslim donors were arrested.
Islamic Relief has raised over $1.0m to help the distressed people in Pakistan. The organisation said many non-Muslims have contributed to the fund. There is still concern among the Muslims about donating funds.
The situation now is far better than it was one year ago, a donor
said. The donations will be forthcoming in bigger flow because Muslims pay zakat during the Holy month of Ramadan. The US State Department has requested the donors to channelise their contributions through American Red Cross, Pakistan Red Crescent, the United Nations or a fund created by Pakistan President Parvez Musharraf.
New York Times and other US media have given exhaustive coverage of the ravages of the earthquake. There are more than 50 helicopters which are engaged in relief operation.
Meanwhile, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, a personal friend of Bush family, has promised to do something towards slashing the price of oil. He feels the spike in oil price has caused tremendous damages to other countries. He also vowed to exterminate al-Qaeda and asked Iran not to meddle in the affairs of Iraq. The King was talking to his first media interview after ascending throne -- Ms Barbara Walters of the ABC tv network. The interview was telecast in New York Saturday.