Monday, July 11, 2011

Sow the Wind, Reap the Whirlwind

In Pakistan, the army's support of militias and terrorist groups made up of radical Muslims, intended to balance the conventional power of India and the US, is pushing the country toward chaos as the radicals and their allies within the army and intelligence services turn on their own. Pervez Hoodbhoy:
Super-charged and locally bred religious militants in Pakistan have fiercely turned upon their former tutors. The military is now haemorrhaging from these unrelenting attacks. As violence grows, pessimism and despondency have permeated the intelligentsia, prompting a flight out of the country. . . . Pakistan bleeds from a thousand cuts. If things had gone according to plan it is India that should have been hurting now, not Pakistan. The army's 25-year-old low-cost, high-impact strategy of covert warfare should have liberated Kashmir and secured Afghanistan from Indian influence. Instead, a fierce blowback has led to a daily pileup of shaheeds [martyrs], the casualties of a plan that has gone awry. The morale of a fine fighting force plummets still further when its soldiers are ordered to fight those coreligionists who claim to be fighting for Islam. The reported refusal of some military units to confront the Taliban during last year's South Waziristan operation is said to have shocked senior officers and severely limited their battle options.

Post bin Laden, things have worsened. Pakistan's current crop of generals must simultaneously deal with the haughty American diktat to "do more", Islamic militant groups fixated upon attacking both America and India, and a heavily Islamicised rank and file brimming with seditious thoughts. Some want to kill their superior officers; they achieved near success when General Pervez Musharraf was twice by air force and army officers in 2003. . . .

Although the army has been extremely reluctant to admit that radicalisation exists within its ranks, something this fact simply cannot be swept under the rug. Last week, the army was forced to investigate Brigadier Ali Khan for his ties to militants of the Hizb ut-Tahrir, a radical organisation that seeks to establish a global caliphate and thinks its mission should begin from nuclear Pakistan.
Hoodbhoy (a Pakistani physics professor) notes that although Islamic terrorists have killed more Pakistanis than died in all its wars with India, polls show that most Pakistanis trust the Taliban much more than the US.

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