Salman Rushdie is not a sympathetic character. His books are largely unreadable, he is a shameless self-publicist, and he ended up as pretty much the only person in the world keeping up the idea that the fatwa against him was still a genuine threat, regularly doing so live on BBC Two late at night, not to mention about the bars and restaurants favoured by the London literati. Who'd have thought to look for him there, eh?
But no one should be remotely surprised at the Pakistani reaction to his knighthood. Pakistan is a key Islamic ally of neoconservatism. As is Saudi Arabia, as are the Chechens, as is the vile Kosovo "Liberation" Army, as is the soon-to-be-restored Caliphate of Turkey, as was the repulsive Alija Izetbegovic, and as were the founders of the Taliban. So what else did anyone expect?
It is no coincidence that Iqbal Sacranie, who used to march under banners reading "Rushdie Must Die", became an Establishment figure over exactly the same years that Marxist neo-Labour stalwarts (John Reid, Charles Clarke, Alan Milburn, Stephen Byers, Patricia Hewitt, Harriet Harman, David Aaronovitch, Christopher Hitchens, John Lloyd, Martin Jacques...) did so, though, like them, without the slightest modification in his views on anything that really mattered.
And since we now have Sir Iqbal, then why not Sir Salman? Indeed, since we now have Sir Iqbal, who else might as well also be knighted, and why?