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'Failed ' Pakistan committing one charade after another.

Byline: ANI

Islamabad, Feb.19 (ANI): Pakistan's de facto Interior Minister Rahman Malik's admission that the November 26, 2008 terror attack on Mumbai was partially planned on Pakistani soil, could be seen by many as a step forward, but a commentary on the internal situation prevailing in Pakistan suggests, that in reality, Islamabad continues committing one charade after another, and, is finding it increasingly difficult to rid itself of the tag of a "failed state".

According to the commentary, it is now almost a year since elections were held in Pakistan, ushering democratic rule in the country after nearly a decade of dictatorship. Under President-General Pervez Musharraf (1999-2008), the commentator claims there was a "semblance of control", but now, neither President Asif Ali Zardari nor Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani seem to be in control of the nation's affairs.

The people are unhappy with civilian rule, as it has failed to give any semblance of "security, stability and economic security".

"The political class is divided, vertically and horizontally. The PPP and PML-N are determined on cutting each other down, each other more effectively and faster than what the army could have achieved or hoped ... There is just too much at stake for both parties to remain united as a coalition," the commentary states.

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif's ambition to become Pakistan's Prime Minister again is being repeatedly nixed by Zardari and his henchmen, notably Punjab Governor Salman Taseer. Gilani, on the other hand, wants to come out of Zardari's shadow, and his decision to sack to National Security Adviser Mahmud Ali Durrani, was apparently his way of showing that he no longer wants to be a "puppet" or a "personal messenger".

Zardari, according to the commentary, has his own set of problems. The PPP rank and file are upset with his authoritarian style of functioning, and his attempt to marginalize supporters of his late wife Benazir Bhutto.

As far as the Pakistan Army is concerned, the commentator says it "is acting more like a shadow government, more powerful than during the last two years of the Musharraf regime". The Army has no love lost for the Sharifs, and is for the moment backing Zardari rather than Gilani.

The support for terrorism in Pakistan is not going to go away any time soon, says the commentary for Malik's disclosures earlier this month do not indicate a willingness to cut of traditional links with terrorist groups.

Malik does not mention what action he will take to dismantle anti-India groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), which continues to retain its huge infrastructure on terror, continues to hold rallies and issues statements on jihad against India and those inimical to the Islamic way of life despite being banned by the Pakistan Government.

There is also the case of another anti-India terror group -the Jaish-e-Mohammad, which is based in Bahawalpur in Pakistan's Punjab province. It too remains intact and is at the forefront of indoctrinating jihadis. Its leader - Masood Azhar - has been spirited away to Waziristan, where he has a huge following, and moves about from his headquarters in Peshawar, says the commentary.

Notions that the LeT is a Kashmiri group are far from the truth. It is a Punjabi group, with bases in three provinces of Pakistan - Punjab, Sindh and NWFP, besides PoK. It is led by Punjabi jehadis, not Kashmiri, and their main agenda is to "liberate all Muslim lands under occupation."

It is affiliated to Al Qaeda, both ideologically and organically. They both share an extremist ideology, and the LeT is "also a key instrument of the Pakistan Army in India and Afghanistan."

Is the Pakistan Army or State giving up its jihadi option? Evidence available suggests that it has no such aim. The Pakistan Army is following a "well known duplicitous policy on terrorism", a policy that has created and nurtured another by-product - the Taliban - in three versions - traditional (pre-2001), neo-Talibanism (October 2001 to February 2002) and a Taliban that has emerged since December 2007 that espouses violence and talks of peace simultaneously.

The commentary concludes that while the Army is battling some of these Taliban groups on Pakistan's western front, its support to other groups in Afghanistan and Waziristan leave not only Pakistan, but also India, the United States and some European countries vulnerable to terror strikes. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Feb 19, 2009
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