4 Threat Matrix: Pakistani merchants ban videogames for portraying country as terrorist breeding ground

Written by Bill Roggio on January 26, 2013 1:19 AM to 4 Threat Matrix

Available online at: http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2013/01/pakistani_merchants_ban_videog.php

Pakistan's electronic entertainment association has ordered merchants to pull the video games Call of Duty and Medal of Honor as the games "unfairly depict the country as a breeding ground for excessive violence, and where security forces have ties to al Qaeda," Al Jazeera reports.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why the makers of Call of Duty and Medal of Honor would portray Pakistan in such a light. After all, Pakistan is the country where Osama bin Laden lived for 10 years after 9/11, the last six of them in a massive complex just outside of Abbottabad, Pakistan's version of West Point. Pakistani security forces were somehow unable to find him in the closed, garrison city, and yet the CIA and US Navy SEALs could. But Pakistan was able to jail a doctor who helped the US track down and kill bin Laden.

Without Pakistan's provision of a safe haven for the Afghan Taliban, the group would have been incapable of maintaining an effective insurgency that held off the NATO Coalition for 11 years. And Pakistan has further undermined the Coalition's effort in Afghanistan by choking off its critical supply line for months at a time.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's military and Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate shelter and coddle the so-called "good Taliban," such as the Haqqani Network, and the Hafiz Gul Bahadar and Mullah Nazir groups. These groups are "good Taliban" because they do not advocate the overthrow of the Pakistani state, but merely want to kill US and NATO soldiers in Afghanistan. They are allegedly part of Pakistan's "strategic depth" against India. These good Taliban also shelter al Qaeda and a host of domestic and foreign terror groups. The US has killed dozens of top leaders and operatives for al Qaeda and allied groups in drone strikes in areas run by the good Taliban.

Pakistan also continues to support the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group that conducted the 2008 terror assault on Mumbai, India in which 166 people died. The group is designated by the US as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, and its leader, Hafiz Saeed, who founded LeT with the advice and support of Osama bin Laden, is a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. Yet Saeed is a popular media personality in Pakistan; the government refuses to arrest him. LeT is merely the most prominent, home-grown terror group that operates with impunity within Pakistan.

Additionally, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate ruthlessly pursues its enemies in Pakistan. This includes journalists such as Syed Saleem Shahzad, the intrepid reporter who tirelessly documented the rise of the Taliban and al Qaeda, and the terror groups' links to Pakistani security forces. Shahzad was kidnapped by the ISI, tortured, and executed, and then his body was thrown into a ditch.

I could go on, but won't.

Still, I cannot figure out a single reason why Pakistani merchants are shocked, shocked! at the depictions of their country by Call of Duty and Medal of Honor.