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Pakistan: civil war « Previous | |Next »
May 17, 2009

Ahmed Rashid in Pakistan on the Brink in the New York Times Review of Books states that:

Pakistan is close to the brink, perhaps not to a meltdown of the government, but to a permanent state of anarchy, as the Islamist revolutionaries led by the Taliban and their many allies take more territory, and state power shrinks. There will be no mass revolutionary uprising like in Iran in 1979 or storming of the citadels of power as in Vietnam and Cambodia; rather we can expect a slow, insidious, long-burning fuse of fear, terror, and paralysis that the Taliban have lit and that the state is unable, and partly unwilling, to douse.

11 percent of Pakistan's territory is either directly controlled or contested by the Taliban. He says that the army has always defined Pakistan's national security goals.
Currently it has two strategic interests: first, it seeks to ensure that a balance of terror and power is maintained with respect to India, and the jihadis are seen as part of this strategy. Second, the army supports the Afghan Taliban as a hedge against US withdrawal from Afghanistan and also against Indian influence in Kabul, which has grown considerably. Containing the domestic jihadi threat has been a tactical rather than a strategic matter for the army, so there have been bouts of fighting with the militants and also peace deals with them; and these have been interspersed with policies of jailing them and freeing them—all part of a complex and duplicitous game.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:08 PM | | Comments (1)


Well, no point complaning. This is the end result of a century of bad policy from the West right across the Muslim world, come to think of it outright meddling.
If the West had ever been prepared to allow democracy a chance in the region, or even once put its spoilt brat Israel back in its place, our absolute bankrupness of credibility would not have the current mess as it is.