Today’s news:

Pakistan — a dim bulb or a blatant accessory to terror?

It’s now abundantly clear that Islamic Republic of Pakistan is two-faced.

It simply defies logic that leaders of the so-called “Land of the Pure” — didn’t know that the Milky Way’s most wanted terrorist was, for years, hiding out in a compound a few miles from a hospital, a police station and the Pakistan Military Academy, which is that nation’s equivalent of West Point.

Yet, Pakistan has been sweet-talking its way into extracting billions of dollars from American taxpayers by pledging to weed out its Jihad Joes and Janes — delivering plenty of braggadocio, but no bang for the buck.

It’s time to quash our grace and generosity because the Central-Asian nation clearly has bigger fish to fry than fighting terrorism — like beating up on its own civilians for infractions other states consider human birthrights.

The Human Rights Watch states as much in its World Report 2011, an annual review of human rights practices in more than 90 states and territories across the globe, which deemed Pakistan’s human rights, “disastrous.”

“Taliban atrocities aren’t happening in a vacuum, but instead often with covert support from elements in the intelligence services and law enforcement agencies,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, senior South Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Hasan wants to know why Pakistan isn’t safeguarding its citizens.

“Instead of capitulating to extremists who intimidate, threaten, and kill those with opposing views, the government should protect those at risk … and hold those inciting violence accountable,” he writes.

Non-militants in Pakistan are on their own, too, according to the international watchdog.

“Persecution and discrimination under cover of law against religious minorities — and other vulnerable groups — remained serious problems,” it reports, citing the case of Aasia Bibi, a Christian from the Punjab province, who became the first woman in the country’s history to be sentenced to death for the “crime” of blasphemy last November.

Pakistan has been unable or unwilling to respond to its lawless militants, who rang in 2010 by driving a truckload of explosives into a volleyball field in the Lakki Marwat district in the northwest, killing at least 97 people. In the coming months, jihadists targeted army vehicles, and killed more than 55 people in Lahore — the nation’s second largest city. Two months after that, extremist squads blew up two mosques in the same area, annihilating close to 100 worshippers.

When Congress passed a new aid package for Pakistan in September 2009, promising the fair-weather “ally” $7.5 billion for civilian needs over the next five years, little did it realize that it would be funding more terror.

The river of blood continues to rage in Pakistan: last Friday, suicide bombers retaliated to the U.S. raid which blew Osama bin Laden away, attacking paramilitary police recruits in the North West Frontier Province, killing 80 people.

It’s just more egg on the two faces of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

sabruzzo@cnglocal.com

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