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    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    February 17, 2009

    Pakistan - Janus

    Explain this dramatic u-turn. Pakistan yesterday struck a deal with an organization called the "Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi", a group that openly supports the Taliban & is in favour of imposing Sharia rule all over Pakistan. The group is headed by Sufi Mohammed, whose son-in-law formed an alliance with Baitullah Mehsud's Tehreek-e-Taliban (banned in Aug 2008) after the end of the Lal Masjid complex siege in Islamabad in July 2007.

    One day before the announcement, Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, told CBS News 60 minutes

    Q: Do you have the support for this campaign against the Taliban? Do you have the full support of the military and the ISI?
    A: If that wasn't the case, then Islamabad would have fallen because obviously if the army doesn't do its job, these men are not restricted. They've blown up the Marriott Hotel before. They've attacked us inland before. They would be all around us, wouldn't they?
    This is a very lovely definition of a campaign against the Taliban! To fight the Taliban, bow to their demands. This is how the military and the ISI are supporting the action. The great game continues.

    There are significant implications for India. The Swat valley is around 500 km from Gilgit, in Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir. The distance between Gilgit and Srinagar or Kargil is between 170-200 km. Given the close affiliation between the Pakistani military, ISI & the various Taliban factions, this provides Pakistan more resources at continuing the terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir, and by extension, India. Lest we forget, during the post-independence attack on J&K by Pakistan to wrest control, Pakistan's army first took control of Gilgit and then used the tribals in the area to capture Skardu, Kargil and the Poonch valley.

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