If one accepts the definition of “reconciliation” to mean “coming to terms,” only rarely, if ever, in Middle East relations has anyone except Israel “come to terms” with Islamic extremists. At diplomatic best, the terms have to be “you kill one of ours, we kill 10 of yours.” No one but Israel has shown the stones to stay this course.
Anythings less is appeasement. It didn’t work with Hitler. It won’t work with radical Islam that views any concession as weakness to be exploited.
“Bhatti’s murder is the bitter fruit of appeasement of extremist and militant groups both prior to and after the killing of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, a Pakistan-based senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, the international advocacy group. “An urgent and meaningful policy shift on the appeasement of extremists that is supported by the military, the judiciary and the political class needs to replace the political cowardice and institutional myopia that encourages such continued appeasement despite its unrelenting bloody consequences.”
Farah Ispahani, a member of parliament and spokesman for the Pakistani president, denied that the PPP had bowed to extremists.
“The government of Pakistan and the PPP have a policy of reconciliation not appeasement,” she said. “It takes a very strong line against extremism of any kind.”
Is it just that Pakistan’s government, like ours, is a collection of feckless cowards, or do they simply agree with the goals of the extremists? Some combination of the two, I suspect.