Thursday, February 26, 2009

Will Pakistan Collapse?

There's not much right happening in Pakistan but no end of wrong.

In December the Pentagon reported that Pakistan and Mexico were in danger of sudden and total collapse.

The last thing Pakistan needed was the Supreme Court decision Wednesday that the leader of the opposition and his brother could not stand for election. That triggered riots and violence in Punjab, Pakistan's most populous and prosperous province, causing the governor to impose a form of martial law for two months.

The ousted Sharif brothers wasted no time blaming President Asif Ali Zardari for conspiring against them. The court decision could easily undo Zardari's ruling coalition.

Pakistan's political instability is compounded by the government's truce with Taliban forces. The West has heard all about the peace agreement in the Swat valley. What's gone largely unnoticed is what Asia Times describes as "ceasefires all across the tribal areas and the formation of a united Pakistani tribal front of mujahideen to reinforce the Taliban's battle in Afghanistan."

If this is true it would seem that Pakistan has given the Taliban free rein throughout the border region with Afghanistan. The longer Pakistan remains beset with political chaos the better it serves the interests of the Taliban.

The wild card in this mess is the Pakistan military. How much longer will the generals tolerate this before they move in to take over? Unfortunate as that would be, it might be the best thing for Afghanistan, NATO, the US - and Pakistan.

1 comment:

Sikander Hayat said...

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