With friends like these…Canada-Pakistan redux


Population of Pakistan (2004 est.): 163,985,373
Population of Canada (2006 est.): 32,547,200
Area of Pakistan: 880,254 square km.
Area of Canada: 9,984,670 square km.
Population Density of Pakistan: 211 per square km.
Population Density of Canada: 3.2 per square km.
Pakistani armed forces (combined): approx. 1,000,000
Canadian armed forces (combined): approx. 88,000

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told CBC Tuesday that, compared with those suffered by Pakistan, the Canadian military casualties from fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan have been insubstantial.

He said, “We have suffered 500 casualties…Canadians may have suffered four or five.”

“You suffer two dead and you cry and shout all around the place that there are coffins,” he continued, “Well, we have had 500 coffins.”

(Actually, since deploying in Afghanistan in 2001, 36 Canadian troops and one diplomat have been killed.)

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2 thoughts on “With friends like these…Canada-Pakistan redux

  1. A little in Musharaff’s defence.

    He was responding to allegations that his county’s not doing enough to fight terrorism. If someone complained that Canada wasn’t doing enough about terrorism, we would be VERY upset given our loses, point to our 36 dead soldiers, and might have an emotional reaction that would make us speak a little too candidly, and undiplomatically, perhaps even saying something insulting.

    He drastically underestimates our losses, for sure, but numbers aren’t really the point are they?

    This was a classic “people in glass houses” argument. We can’t criticize Musharaff for not being tough enough, and then complain if he criticizes us for not being tough enough.

    His remarks were insulting, and regretable. But understandable in context, and I can forgive them.

  2. You make good points re. the context of Musharaff’s remarks.

    He was much more at ease, and likeable, later on “The Daily Show” 🙂

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