Jul 13 2006

To Avoid A Massive War, Clear Out Waziristan

Published by at 9:51 am under All General Discussions,Pakistan

The world has to face some harsh realities in the war on terror, and so do some of our allies. Just like the Arab Muslim nations finally had to start cracking down on their radical elements fomenting death and destruction, so too does Pakistan have to deal with the Northern Terroritories and Waziristan Province. The long running tension between India, China and Pakistan are the powder keg that Islamic terrorists tried to light with the train bombings in Bombay this week. Martin Walker from UPI has a really excellent article out on the general situation in the region, and highlights why the existing sanctuary for terrorism (and major players like Bin Laden and his deputy Zawhiri) in these norther regions of Pakistan cannot remain sanctuaries. A snippet:

The fourth and final context is the fragile Asian security equation, in which China and India have emerged as the two dominant regional powers, condemned by geography to a kind of geo-political rivalry. Despite strenuous efforts in Beijing and New Delhi to improve relations, Pakistan is still seen by India as China’s client state. Pakistan has been armed, financed and backed from China because it is useful to Beijing as a way to keep constant pressure on India’s western flank, and as a distraction for India’s military forces and its strategists.

New Delhi also has little choice but to take up the issue of terrorist attacks on Indian cities directly with the Pakistani government in Islamabad. Under the Islamabad accord of 2004, Gen. Musharraf solemnly pledged to end the use of Pakistani territory by terror groups. He has made some token gestures, but by changing their names and moving office addresses, the work of the groups has continued, and Indian intelligence officials firmly believes that ISI continues to provide arms and funding and discreet support.

I have been saying for a while that these northern areas in Pakistan needed to be dealt with and it seemed for a while there was significant action there (with death tolls for insurgents higher there than in Afghanistan and Iraq). It is possible the Bombay bombings where a last ditch effort by terrorists in Pakistan to turn their situation around. But whatever the current status, the job must be completed and the terrorists hiding out in these regions neutralized. The only alternative is a massive war in the region and tens if not hundreds of thousands of deaths. Musharraf must realize he can only pick between these two options. I doubt there is any third, middle path.

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