Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Long Road To Chaos In Pakistan

The Benazir Bhutto assassination

From The International Herald Tribune:

Hours after a truck bomber slew 53 people last weekend at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, the country's interior minister laid responsibility for the attack on Taliban militants holed up in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, or FATA, the remote, wild region that straddles the border with Afghanistan.

"All roads lead to FATA," Interior Minister Rehman Malik said.

If the past is any guide, Malik's statement is almost certainly correct.

But what Malik did not say was that those same roads, if he chose to follow them, would very likely loop back to Islamabad itself.

The chaos that is engulfing Pakistan appears to represent an especially frightening case of strategic blowback, one that has now begun to seriously undermine the American effort in Afghanistan. Tensions over Washington's demands that the militants be brought under control have been rising, and last week an exchange of fire erupted between American and Pakistani troops along the Afghan border. So it seems a good moment to take a look back at how the chaos has developed.

Read more ....

My Comment: The reason why the Al Qaeda leadership ran to the safe havens of Pakistan's Tribal Regions is that they knew they would be safe there. After six years of ignoring the problem, the Red Mosque uprising occurred last year, throwing Pakistan into a fight between secular and Islamic extremists that has only grown with time.

Pakistan .... because of religion and ethnic differences .... has been in constant turmoil and instability. A corrupt elite, coupled with religious and ethnic intolerance, with outside influences permeating all strata of Pakistani life .... we now have a mix that is ready to explode.

The fact that many in Pakistan are now interfering into the affairs of Afghanistan .... has resulted with Pakistan now receiving the wrath of NATO and its allies, and its demands that it finally addresses the problems that they have ignored for so long.

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