Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pakistan and the Taliban

Taliban are coming! Taliban are coming to take over Islamabad and eventually Pakistan! Is it possible that it is a one big scam? Maybe the Pakistani army is trying to scare the dickens out of the government of Asif Ali Zardari and is readying to take over the reigns of power themselves. After all, Pakistan has been under military junta most of its life.

However the Taliban, or in the past Pashtuns whose sizable faction is affiliated with the Taliban now, have been in Pakistani territory since its birth. It is an ethnic group that lives on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Thanks to the botched Bush invasion, some factions of Pashtuns have been radicalized.

It would look that Pashtuns always had a fair amount of influence in Pakistan as they have held influential government positions. In that case, why would they like to take over the Pakistani government militarily. To give you an idea of Pashtun influence, I believe one of the longest serving military Presidents of Pakistan was Ayub Khan and I also understand he was Pashtun. It was an important reason, his being Pashtun, that the capital of Pakistan was moved from Karachi, thousands miles towards north to Islamabad, to his home territory which is not far from the stronghold of the Pashtuns. Islamabad did not exist prior to that, he built a brand new city and declared it the capital of the country. Now he was President in the 1950s and the 1960s. So being such a powerful ethnic group, why would they want to invade Islamabad and take over.

Also it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for a few Pashtuns turned Taliban to defeat the Pakistani army. It is one of the biggest, most well-equipped and well-trained armies in the World. Therefore, this Taliban invasion does not sound right. There is something screwy – playing with the nerves of Asif Ali Zardari, who is a weak leader, and with the nerves of gun totting Americans.

In conclusion, I will add that Bush-Cheney, Rumsfeld and other cowboys of the pack did destabilize Pakistan through the botched invasion 0f 2001. It is hoped that Obama will use a more thoughtful strategy to calm things down in Pakistan and bring some sanity and stability to Afghanistan. This cannot be done through military conquest. Winning hearts and minds, and diplomacy, may stand a better chance.

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  1. I don't think America still has the strength to sort out Pakistan's troubles. China might be a better prospect but that would drive India utterly mad. Pakistan's military is extremely leery of getting engaged with the Taliban and leaving the country helpless against India's forces.

  2. Mound, you’re quite knowledgeable on the geopolitical situation of the area judging from your posts on your blog. I think you’re quite right. It is a very sticky situation.