"This is an occasion for the 1.5 billion Muslims to look at the seriousness of this decision. The west is accusing Muslims of extremism and terrorism. If someone exploded a bomb on his body he would be right to do so unless the British government apologises and withdraws the 'sir' title."
Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq, Religious Affairs Minister, speaking to the Pakistani parliament in Islamabad today.
So there we have it. A member of a government which is a staunch 'ally' of the US and Britain believes suicide bombing to be an appropriate response to the award of a knighthood to the novelist Salman Rushdie. (Incidentally, I don't think Rushdie, a pretentious and highly over-rated writer deserved such an award, but that is by the by). Don't hold your breath for condemnation from the 'muscular' left, or the last few inhabitants of Planet Neo-Con: their interest in spreading 'democracy' doesn't seem to extend to the corrupt, human-rights abusing dictatorship that is Pakistan.