Stratfor warns situation in strife-torn Pak spinning out of control

Published: Tuesday, July 8, 2008, 10:23 [IST]
 


Washington, July 8 : In the backdrop of Sunday's suicide blast in Islamabad killing 20 people and yesterday's serial blasts in Karachi claiming one life and injuring more than 50, the US-based news intelligence service "Stratfor" has said that situation in Pakistan was going "out of control".

It said that the return of democracy in Pakistan, after the February 18 polls, had not been able to quell the political unrest. By entering into peace talks with "jihadis", the Pakistani authorities had only led to the spread of the Taliban in the country, said Stratfor.

"A year after the Lal Masjid operation, Pakistan appears to be spinning out of control and it is difficult to say with any clarity what will happen in another year, other than that there does not appear to be much out there to counter the current trend toward anarchy, even if the military steps in," the Daily Times quoted a Stratfor commentary as saying.

It added that the recent use of suicide bombings had allowed religiously radical forces to reach beyond their NWFP strongholds and strike with impunity at the core of Pakistan, including urban centres and "things are spinning out of control".

Released on Monday, the Texas-based news intelligence service noted that along with the rapidly deteriorating security situation, political instability had "only grown after the elections which failed to quell the political unrest that severely weakened not only President Pervez Musharraf's hold on power, but also that of the Army".

"The fact is that the civilian government and the country's military establishment appear to be losing control of the situation. By opting to negotiate with the "jihadis" from a position of weakness, the Pakistani authorities inadvertently are sending a message to every armed non-state actor of any worth in the country that all the "jihadis" have to do to make the government more pliable is use their weapons. This signal has led to the spread of the Taliban in Pakistan," the analysis said.

It added: "There is a national lack of acknowledgement that the country is being torn apart by religious extremism.

What is even worse for Pakistan is that its "jihadi" problem is a geopolitical issue rather than a strictly political one.

The Pakistanis cannot deal with it at a time of their choosing, which explains the US' increasingly aggressive attitude in dealing with the situation.

US airstrikes in the country's tribal areas have become an almost "daily occurrence", and it is only a matter of time before Washington escalates its unilateral military operations deeper into Pakistani territory."

ANI

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