The Inevitability of Defeat for the Taliban in Pakistan

http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=173480
http://mosharrafzaidi.com/articles/

Appeared as “The Taliban will be defeated”

Tuesday, April 21, 2009
by Mosharraf Zaidi

The young lust that infuriates the fascist Flintstones of Malakand is only the beginning of the love chronicles that will extinguish the little ember that they mistake for a raging fire. The little ember they mistake for populist wildfire is disenchantment with the failing state in this country. Unfortunately for these comedic miscarriages of reality there is only one raging fire in Pakistan. It is the fire in the cities. Sure there are randomly distributed fascist mullahs in the cities too, and many of them have taken the choreography of Sufi Mohammad to heart. But if it was so easy to convert the madrasas of this country into the nodes of a bloody fascist Flintstone revolution, it would have already happened.

The real love affair that the Taliban and their ilk should be scared of is the incandescent passion with which Pakistanis, religious and irreligious, love this big, bulking behemoth of a country. March 15 may be a long and distant memory in the newspapers, but its markings on the DNA of Pakistan are still fresh. The scars that it has left are still raw, and the traditional elite in this country has not forgotten the humiliation of that day. Both the feudal politicians and the wannabe-feudal military leaders in this country grossly mis-underestimated (a Bushism all too appropriate for this Pakistan) the size and heat of the movement to restore the judiciary. The Taliban, the TNSM and the Lal Masjid Brigades repeat the mistakes made by the traditional elite, for good reason. Their DNA is imprinted with the “Made By The Traditional Elite of Pakistan” label. And let’s not be blinded by opportunism, paralysed by our romance for family dynasties or constrained by our personal politics. The defence establishment in this country that has cultivated irrational public discourse under the cloak of religion in Pakistan has not been alone in the endeavour. Their feudal dance partners have been central in enabling and facilitating the rot. Controlling the mosques with their left hands, and the triggers of civilian and military guns with their right–the traditional elite have caved in to the demands for Nifaz-e-Adl because they prefer the faux wrath of a perverted distributive justice agenda to the real and irresistible agenda for reform and renewal in Pakistan’s cities.

The MQM understands this urban agenda for reform and renewal better than any political party in the country, which is why, despite the clear and obvious threats that a free judiciary poses to the operational fidelity of the MQM, the party made a conscious decision not to allow another May 12 to transpire this March. It is also why the MQM has spoken loudly and proudly against the ridiculous handing over of Pakistani sovereignty to the Flintstones of Malakand. Most of all, the MQM’s depth of relationship with urban sentiment is evident in the starkly different rhetoric that defines engagement with the issues between Pakistan’s Gucci and Prada liberals on the one hand, and the MQM’s leadership on the other. Convening an ulema conference was a stroke of urban Pakistan genius by the party. No self-respecting secular, progressive liberal (sic) would be caught dead at such a convention. Hence the difference between the MQM (a serious power-player in this country), and cheese and cracker liberals (a loud but politically sterile minority). As much as the lawyers’ movement was an a-religious movement, it was not amoral. And Pakistan’s people (even the ones in nice cars in the city working for banks and educated in the American Midwest) still draw moral inspiration primarily from Islam.

Since handing over the mosque to the wretched of South Asia at Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s request, Muslims here have slowly but surely abdicated their faith to a newfangled clergy. Their primary instrument in sustaining ownership of the mosque and madrasa, and all the symbols that go with them, is a supremely confident ignorance.

The language of religious discourse is dripping with Islamic symbolism. There is no reason for Pakistan to be shy of engaging the clergy with the same symbols. Indeed, it is the uncontested monopolisation of those symbols that has enabled the current rot. More often than not, the mullahs will lose the argument. Ignorant rants have a very short lease of life. Simply put, there are more Hakim Saids in Pakistan’s Muslim history than there are Sufi Mohammads. Fought properly, there is only one outcome in the battle for the soul of Pakistan–victory for the peace-loving masses, and defeat for the firestorm-fanning agents of irrationality.

Of course, the MQM represents a deeply compromised flag-bearer for the political fight against the Taliban. Despite a much-reformed party agenda, the ethnic affiliation of its top leadership is an issue that has consistently kept it from growing beyond urban Sindh. Moreover, rather ironically, its political choices since 1999 have put it directly at odds with urban Punjab. Ultimately, the alliance between urban Sindh and urban Punjab is a natural and inevitable one. This inevitability was all too visible to President Asif Ali Zardari, and it is what inspired the unnatural alliance between the PPP and the MQM–two parties that were at opposite ends of the violence and mayhem of May 12. Despite the federalist benefits of the PPP-MQM alliance, and the dangers of a rural Sindh that has no allies in either Punjab or in Karachi, this political expedience has a limited shelf life.

Of course, the challenge in Punjab is the PML-N’s ability to continue to be a vessel for the articulation of urban Pakistan’s political ethos. Taking on the mullah without abdicating its centrist Muslim identity is a critical challenge for the PML-N. Traditionally, it has been assumed that the natural role of taking on the mullah belongs to the PPP. Today’s PPP, lacking the brilliance of a Bhutto as its field marshal, is hurting. It is unable to seamlessly integrate the feudal tendencies of its electoral strength with the urbane (not urban) sensibilities of its somewhat exceptional cadre of highly qualified advisors. The growing wisdom and alacrity of the prime minister notwithstanding, the PPP will take at least a generation to grow into a viable force in Pakistan’s new urban frontier. Until then, to stay alive, compromise with the most unpalatable negotiating-table partners is all the party can do. This is doubly true for the ANP, which has been unfairly burdened with the blame for the deal. In fact, the ANP has done what every party other than the MQM will do in the same situation. Without a military that is willing to take the battlefield heat, political parties have no choice but to find compromise solutions to intractable problems.

None of the Realpolitik of the day, however, alters the bottom-line truth about Pakistan in 2009. There is a big set of unresolved issues around which violent extremists are able to construct a rationale for their murderous campaign for power. The resonance and appeal of these issues is undeniable. The bloodshed at Lal Masjid in 2007, the covert sexual revolution that has taken place on the back of a massive telecom boom, and the collateral damage of drone attacks, all have serious play in mainstream Pakistan.

But these issues are not the sole informants of Pakistaniat–to use Adil Najam’s phraseology. They are among a larger galaxy of issues. Proof of this is in the political performance of the rightwing, even as recently as the Feb 18, 2008, elections. Despite the bread-and-butter nature of these issues in urban and rural Pakistan, the religious right failed to win back the gifts handed to it by the deeply flawed elections of 2002. The key question is not whether the religious right in Pakistan can mobilise meaningful numbers to actualise its vision for a strait-jacketed and irrational Pakistan. They cannot. Even though these issues are shared across a broad spectrum, the religious right is tone-deaf, and politically irrelevant. And if the JUI and JI and their cohorts can’t win the street, the Taliban don’t have a chance.

The key question, therefore, is not about the populism of the Taliban, the TNSM, or any violent extremists in Pakistan. It is whether Pakistani Muslims will remain hostage to their sense of religious inferiority to the mullah. In fear of violating the precepts of a faith to which most Pakistanis are still deeply committed, will the people give mullahs like Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid carte blanche to destroy this country? The MQM’s ulema conference may cause all kinds of squirming, but it answers the question unequivocally. No, they will not.

The love affair of the Pakistani people with their country is a firewall that will hold. Violent extremists can flog the odd alleged straying couple, but they cannot flog 172 million people. They cannot win this war, and that is why they’re so angry all the time.

23 comments

  1. Bionic woman

    Detailed comments later but I am grateful to hear a reasoned voice of optimism amidst the darkness of the chaos that is the present.

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  3. Zahid Abdullah

    This article beautifully articulates hopes and aspirations of the people of Pakistan.“The bloodshed at Lal Masjid in 2007, the covert sexual revolution that has taken place on the back of a massive telecom boom, and the collateral damage of drone attacks, all have serious play in mainstream Pakistan“. ‘Covert sexual revolution’ in the context of contemporary Pakistan requires a detailed research study but I am so very glad Musharraf Zaidi has alluded to it. Blind girls are generally considered asexual. However those blind girls that have access to assistive technology and can operate their mobiles with its help are breaking myths associated with their sexuality and in certain cases I have seen them finding for themselves suitable life partners. They are breaking, if it is not a suitable word, then they are getting over physical and social barriers that they have to face like their sighted sisters but also those barriers that they have to face due their disability. This assistive or adaptive technology helps blind operate computer and other information technology products. As a result, the disabled can have access to education and perform at the job market. I would request Mr. Musharraf Zaidi to mention the role of technology in mainstreaming the disabled wherever and whenever possible. Since different actors solicit his advice on public policy, he should mention that there has been a sea change in the way blind used to access education but HEC has no policy vis-à-vis the special needs of the blind university students.

  4. Another great article, Mosharraf. You make one of the few arguments for optimism at a time when it’s becoming increasingly scarce.

    You wrote: “The key question, therefore, is not about the populism of the Taliban, the TNSM, or any violent extremists in Pakistan. It is whether Pakistani Muslims will remain hostage to their sense of religious inferiority to the mullah.”

    This made me think of Sam Harris’ idea that religious moderates can be particularly dangerous because they often inadvertently give cover to the extremists. Here’s an excerpt:

    “The problem that religious moderation poses for all of us is that it does not permit anything very critical to be said about religious literalism… All we can say, as religious moderates, is that we don’t like the personal and social costs that a full embrace of scripture imposes on us. This is not a new form of faith, or even a new species of scriptural exegesis; it is simply a capitulation to a variety of all-too-human interests that have nothing, in principle, to do with God.

    Religious moderation is the product of secular knowledge and scriptural ignorance—and it has no bona fides, in religious terms, to put it on a par with fundamentalism. The texts themselves are unequivocal: they are perfect in all their parts. By their light, religious moderation appears to be nothing more than an unwillingness to fully submit to God’s law. By failing to live by the letter of the texts, while tolerating the irrationality of those who do, religious moderates betray faith and reason equally. Unless the core dogmas of faith are called into question… religious moderation will do nothing to lead us out of the wilderness.”

    Think he’s got a point? Here’s the link to the entire thing: http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Secular-Philosophies/The-Problem-With-Religious-Moderates.aspx

  5. Faisal Amin

    First group hijacked the people of a port city using violent techniques in the name of ethnicity. First group had complete backing of the establishment.

    Second group is hijacking the people of Pakistan using violent techniques in the name of religion. Second group has complete backing of the establishment.

    No wonder first group understands, more than anyone else, the threat posed by the second group. First group was very successful in its strategy. Will the second group be successful?

  6. dr. Sarshar

    The thought expressed here is not only optimistic but also true. I wounder many a times per day why our people are in a state of permanant quagmire. Some times I reach on the conclusion that the way to come out of the inferiority complex(being infirior to the mullahs) con be overcome by self studying the Holy script(unbiased).

  7. This article is too optimistic. I don’t think MQM has it in the party to brave the tide of religion and PML-N is far too indifferent to the threat to pose any real threat to the militancy. As long as we stay apologist about Islam and hanker for the utopia called Shariah, we shall remain subjugated to mullahs of different denominations and variety

  8. i was recently at a thread where people were discussing what idea of pakistani nationalism can the intellects construct.

    i believe for that to happen we need to first be taking some heart in our country itself – it has a lot more wondrous things going for it then we ever give it credit for.

    i love your articles for that very reason. they are the first steps towards creating a stable identity for ourselves. :)

    one of these days i’ll post a non-flattering comment. also love the fact that you picked up on the telecom fuelled sexual revolution. “friends and family” numbers is such a lovely euphemism… hahaha

  9. Beenisch

    The journalists have a grave duty to select their perspectives and words carefully. Our writers with the Taliban have successfully created an air of doom that has seeped under our skins. Instead of writers inspiring the population towards hope and a better future, we open the papers every single day to hear that we’re the next Afghanistan. Yet one can not help but wonder how life continues. One can not help but wonder that all the progress that’s taken place in the media, urban life and imaginations, can it really come to an end thank’s to the Taliban? Is it truly so easy?

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but just because the perspective is pessimistic does not imply that it is an intelligent one. For the first time since the suicide bombers put on their I heard an optimistic perspective. Not only has the author demonstrated optimism but more, he has included our very identity and, our lives with the politics sensibly.

    It makes sense to me, and for that I am truly grateful to have read this piece. I can tell this has piece has really come from the heart.

  10. Another thundering charge in the fight for a peaceful Pakistani future.

    I share your optimisim, but disagree on the inevitability of its outcome. You say “Fought properly, there is only one outcome in the battle for the soul of Pakistan–victory for the peace-loving masses, and defeat for the firestorm-fanning agents of irrationality.”

    The counter factual to your ‘properly’ is an improperly fought war resulting in failure …and with the merest possibility of defeat, success cannot be inevitable.

    What constitutes the proper strategy, what must be done to avoid defeat? What does the Manifesto for Pakistan contain?

  11. Hassan Rahim

    Don’t want to jump upon the MQM bashing bandwagon but tend to agree what Faisal has mentioned above. Call it being cynical but a party who itself is entrenched ethnic Fascism, thier stance against Flintsone Fascism of Taliban should be taken with a bushel or two of salt. Not to say it in anyway discredits the other valid points raised by Mosharraf.

  12. Qazi

    I think that you have got it very partially right. In my view, the micro level support to Taliban in Swat etc., is merely a reflection of the failure of Pakistani state to deliver to its citizens. Their rise to prominence with total impunity at the national level is entirely a different phenomenon. I fail to see how the massive logistical operation of sustaining supply of heavy explosives and arms into Swat valley can go on. Remember, this is not FATA with a porous border and the consulates of “eternal enemy” on the other sides. This is Swat valley, with only a couple of roads leading into it which can carry heavy truck loads. I also fail to swallow that the arms shipment is being done on mules or on foot. These things are too heavy and too large in quantity. It is coming in trucks and pickups. So, unless the Taliban have discovered a tree species that grows bullets, rockets and grenades, the only explanation is that it is all coming from outside, on the very roads guarded by the military through whose check points you and I can not take a swiss knife inside. I also refuse to gobble that the military does not have the muscle power to fight Taliban. When there is political will, they can locate the ailing Akbar Bugti in a cave in Kohlu, kill him, bury him unceremoniously in a locked casket and get away with it. This is a blatant stage managed act by the entities who still espouse the pipe dream of “strategic depth”. This army has been indoctrinated for around four decades with Jihadi lessons. I also refuse to believe that they all have be re-programmed overnight. jihadist or liberal, the army would like to retain a stronghold over the country. Finding it unpalatable to do that directly, the TNSM bogey has been trumped up to scare the middle class and it has worked. I hear people being nostalgic about Musharraf era already. Please try to see through the veneer. If I am wrong, please share an alternate explanation of at least the logistics of arms supply into Swat valley. This in my opinion is a question more fundamental than the stance on MQM about which too I have some unanswered questions.

  13. Saima

    Have the same thoughts as Qazi (previous post) who has articulated very well. Some discussion on this would be good Mosharraf.

  14. Tayyab Balagamwala

    Brilliant article but a bit too optimistic as far as i think.. but then again you are very optimistic that march 15th restoration of judiciary will also bring about change.. to be honest one month has gone by and the restoration of judiciary has not done much.. no revoking of NRO, no resolution of almost 15 to 20 year old cases of poor people, no suo moto notices on other major issues… why waste even one day or one minuite… 35 days have literally been wasted and major issues not sorted out,.. if i as a businessman have a high significance issue at work, i will solve teh critical problem first rather than looking at small matter…. i guess perhaps we as pakistanis hope too much from our contemporaries.. its time we all got a reality check !!!

  15. Wajahat

    I agree that the MQM – oddly enough – is the party that will keep the Taliban out of Karachi (but not without bloodshed), and I agree that the Taliban have staked out a monopoly over Islam, their twisted version of it being sold to the masses as the correct version. And yes, there is a strong need for other leaders to take up the mantle of Islam – moderate Islam, that is, the type you and I believe in. But I’m not sure that leadership will be provided by the current bunch of politicians.

    As for the urban-liberal pakistanis being in love with their country… their desire to fight and kill is low to non-existent, whereas the Taliban’s willingness to maim and murder seems limitless. Which means that as the Taliban comes into Pakistan’s cities and starts telling the loyal urban educated citizens to turn off their music, cover their women, and shut down girls schools, most will fearfully and resentfully, but obediently, comply. Which is not to say there won’t be some that fight, but that’s exactly why it will get very, very, very ugly.

    But I can see the Taliban operating in another way. They may never take on the big cities like Lahore and Karachi. They may just take rural punjab and rural sindh, and small towns in between – DG khan, DI Khan, Sukkur, Nawabshah, Tando Allahayar, Rahim Yar Khan, what have you – where the educated liberal urban Pakistanis are not as entrenched, and by doing so, leave the country in tatters anyway.

    The more I think about it, the more I believe we have a fight on our hands. Sure, we need to improve education, and have economic development, but all that takes years, and we are out of time. Get ready for a bloody revolution.

  16. Ali Choudry

    “The MQM understands this urban agenda for reform and renewal better than any political party in the country, which is why, despite the clear and obvious threats that a free judiciary poses to the operational fidelity of the MQM, the party made a conscious decision not to allow another May 12 to transpire this March. It is also why the MQM has spoken loudly and proudly against the ridiculous handing over of Pakistani sovereignty to the Flintstones of Malakand. Most of all, the MQM’s depth of relationship with urban sentiment is evident in the starkly different rhetoric that defines engagement with the issues between Pakistan’s Gucci and Prada liberals on the one hand, and the MQM’s leadership on the other. Convening an ulema conference was a stroke of urban Pakistan genius by the party. No self-respecting secular, progressive liberal (sic) would be caught dead at such a convention. Hence the difference between the MQM (a serious power-player in this country), and cheese and cracker liberals (a loud but politically sterile minority).”

    seriously? Zaidi yaar? hain? The MQM’s depth of relationship with urban settlement involves bhatta and the bundook!..the only reason they understand our lovely new neighbours in swat is because their both cut from the same cloth! I feel this Ulema conference is a cynical attempt by Altafs serfs to try and remove the stigma that will never allow their party to get beyond Karachi. The MQM are using the criisi in swat to once again fan the flames of sectarianism in Karachi! The fact that many writers are so desperate that they are seeing the MQM as the only light at the end of the tunnel shows how far we have fallen. Sometimes that light can end up being a train!

    Also and this is just a general comment about Deen and so forth. We Pakistanis are entierly to blame for the rise of extremist groups who monopolise the intellectual discourse surrounding our great Deen. We have abrogated our responsibilites by taking things for granted and have surrendered our Deen to these people. Its high time that each of us actually started looking very closley at ourselves. Have we done enough to understand,teach and correct the Message of Allah swt? or are we content to let Maulvi sahib step in because we just cannot be bothered with it all??

    And one final note, especially to those who think the talibs will take over vast tracks of Pakistan. Unless we allow them , it is a militarily impossible task for them. Especially in Punjab.!!

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  18. Shoaib Shaikh

    An optimistic and well articulated piece.
    I am a bit concerned. The questions are as follows: How can the Talibs just roam our countryside, take one town after another? They almost have a kingdom. At moments like these is the army not needed to respond? Should I finally start believing the conspiracy theories which say that we are ourselves giving up our country? Finally, since the sanctity of the Supreme Court has been directly violated by Heir Sufi, is this not contempt of court? No sou moto yet?! Our own house is not in order, unfortunately.

  19. When Western operatives show up in Muslim lands with their carrots and
    sticks, their ultimate weapon may have been the threat of political or
    physical assassination. Muslim leaders seem to have been bowing down
    to such threats either due to their greed or their helplessness.

    The Taliban movement is very cleverly orchestrated on the theme of
    “justice”. From Nawaz Sharif to Iftikhar Chaudhry to Imran Khan to
    Munnawar Hussain to Fazlur Rahman to Mullah Sufi Muhammad. They are
    all are talking about justice.

    Until very recently, one thing the Pakistani leaders did have was the
    police control over their own people. Pakistani Police does NOTHING
    for the benefit of the Pakistani citizens. It exists to protect
    Pakistani elite class against potential Bolshevik-like revolution.
    Pakistani police operated under the Police Act of 1861.

    Yes, until 2002, Pakistan operated under the Police Act of 1861 which
    was enacted by the British to suppress dissent, right after the 1857
    mutiny in India. It would be very interesting to see how the Police
    Order of 2002 pans out which was developed by the alleged murderer of
    Benazir Bhutto’s brother and political rival Murtaza Bhutto (1).

    Taliban/Al-Qaida’s targeting of security forces and infrastructure is
    not for nothing. Police is the symbol of injustice and corruption in Pakistan. The
    Government of Punjab had to double the salaries of its police force to
    keep it intact and to attract new recruits (2).

    Taliban/Al-Qaida has warned the Pakistani leaders to
    choose between two deaths; either from the foreign carrot/stick
    danglers, or from Taliban/Al-Qaida human-bombs.

    With the 2006 accord with Naik Muhammad (3), reinstatement of Iftikhar
    Chaudhry when the Governor of Punjab could not control Sharif’s mob,
    and the Swat agreement after numerous security and political figures
    were killed by Taliban, it seems that the Pakistani leaders have
    chosen not to die by the human-bombs. More importantly, they have
    decided that they don’t want their families to disown their dead
    bodies (4).

    Until a predictable solution to the menace of human-bombs is
    developed, the police control in Pakistan is no more. The Ivy League
    educated Puritan radical right wingers, who affectionately call
    themselves Conservatives and currently control the American
    though-space, will continue to pursue their policies of self-interest
    and punishment in the world to little avail.

    The totally illiterate Wahabis, who affectionately call themselves
    Taliban (seekers of knowledge), with chants of “Allaho Akbar” and
    bodies strapped with bombs, will continue to threat Oxford educated
    Pakistani leaders with the Taliban version of the Wrath of God against
    their real or perceived injustices to the Pakistani nation.

    Prediction: Unless Taliban are squarely defeated, Bilawal “Bhutto”
    Zardari will have to grow a beard if he wanted to return home with any
    aspiration of a political office. :)

    (1) http://www.asianlii.org/asia/other/ADBLPRes/2005/13.html
    (2) http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/punjab/salary-raise-for-police-hs
    [Dawn’s writer mistakenly thinks that the salaries were increased to
    encourage the police to do a better job. Poor chap. :) ]
    (3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waziristan_Accord
    (4) http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=172290

  20. Qazi

    The MQM’s rediscovery of liberal values is such a joke. What are these liberal values BTW? The way I see it, there is only one immediate issue at stake: The property along the Northern Bypass. Pakhtuns have been pouring into Karachi forever and are making do by encroaching upon unclaimed marginal lands on the outskirts of city. Suddenly, the value of that land has risen because of the proposition of Northern bypass. All of a sudden the MQM city government has woken to the menace of encroachment, but to level the ground to focus their anti-encroachment drive on Pakhtun settlements, they have started the slander campaign against “Taliban” (read Pakhtuns). A parallel effort at ethnic cleansing is going on which the Geo TV will not report. The Pakhtun doctors and house jobbers, especially lady doctors, (by no stretch of imagination Taliban) are being threatened openly in all teaching hospitals of Karachi. I am an eye witness to this. The tea restaurants (visibly supporting Mehmood Khan Achakzai’s PMAP or ANP) are being targeted.

    This time ANP bagged two PA seats. MQM fears that the next time time it will be three plus on Seraiki too. This will create other contenders for “bhatta” and that indeed is the lifeline of MQM, ensuring that Altaf bhai and his cohorts live in comfort in London.

    So, I do not know whether I should celebrate Atilla the Hun conquering over the Pope or not.

  21. Aalya Gloekler

    Nicely written Mosh. Some points:
    It is one thing to favour ‘conversations’ between the extreme poles but quite another to set up the parameters. And then who is to lead and set the examples? Most of the middle class in Pakistan, (the harbinger of change!)is waiting to again look up to someone.

    Without wanting to sound like a believer in conspiracy theories, unless the ‘rogue’ and other elements that still believe in pursuing the ‘strategic depth’paradigm are not made to face reality, the mayhem will continue. But “billi kay galaey main ghanti bandhay ga kaun?!”

  22. gohar

    dear mosh, i’m a great fan of your articles, however, i’d like to disagree with your simplistic account of how its going to be an easy ride for the pakistani state against the ongoing insurgency.
    let’s face the facts:
    the americans are facing imminent defeat in Afghanistan…
    by and large, pakistani security forces are up against people who will spend a few months fighting the americans in Afghanistan only to return back to apply their skills against the americans’ pakistani counterparts (army, police etc.) If the americans can’t route them out in their own backyard, how do you expect a corrupt, inefficient police or a badly demoralized army to sustain itself in the long run?
    Let’s face it. In the course of our not so holy crusade against a broader phenomenon that is euphemistically phrased as “terror”, Pakistan has been reduced to something much worse than a banana republic. The entire state structure, all our institutions are literally on life-support…the day our masters realize that we are of no good use to them they’ll cut of all the aid-money that is coming in and that will be the end of the story for “our” war. Until then, you and I can think of new ways to develop an ownership of a war that a hundred Pakistans (like the one we have at hand) put together can never win.

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