Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pakistan, the next Domino?

Pakistan is reaping what it has sowed. After years of not so secretly cavorting with the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists, the country is facing a serious threat to its internal stability.

That threat did not come from the Hindi India, Pakistan's "idee fixe" as its implacable enemy. It did not come from the Christian West -- United States has been played a sucker with billion dollar aids for years plus weapon sales while Pakistan has deeply mixed feelings about the West due to its Islamic fundamentalist sentiments.

Washington on the other hand had always favored Pakistan and shunned India especially during the Nixon/Kissinger years when a "tilt" in favor of Pakistan was the official policy. Washington, too, had an "idee fixe" about "Socialist India".

Now the threat to Pakistan is coming from its not so secret bedmates: the Al Qaeda and Taliban.

You can tell things are not going well from this excerpt in today's NY Times:

..."ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The Pakistani Army said Monday that it was progressing in its push into the Taliban stronghold of South Waziristan, but it acknowledged that it was meeting strong resistance.

The military began the much anticipated offensive against Taliban militants over the weekend, with about 28,000 troops backed by artillery and fighter jets moving into the region from three directions"...

Italics and bold face added.

Furthermore, you can tell the scale of fighting is not a small skirmish:

..."Meanwhile, local residents continued to trickle out as heavy fighting raged. A statement issued by the United Nations estimated that more than 170,000 people would be displaced as a result of the military operation, which started Saturday.

However, Pakistani officials said that they did not expect a humanitarian crisis to erupt as a result of the offensive."...

170,000 refugees is "not a humanitarian crisis" the officials say?

Pakistan has an intrinsically unstable internal problem: it has Islamic fundamentalist tendencies. Schools are poorly funded. Hence, the young find religious schools an easy substitute. These religious madras schools are funded by mosques which also receive generous supports from oil rich Arab countries. Madras schools have been an important breeding ground of suicide bombers.

Pakistan also tries to be a modern secular state. It has a nominally democratic political structure. Yet, Its political leadership is deeply corrupt over many years. It was once the principal exporter of nuclear technology to rogue states such as North Korea and Iran.

Yet Nixon/Kissinger turned the other way. George Bush treated Pakistan as an ally while its leaders denied they were ignoring Al Qaeda and Taliban activities in their own backyard.

Now, we are now faced with a royal mess.

The entire news report is here.

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