While diplomats met in Tokyo to raise funds to stabilize Pakistan, the situation inside the country seems increasingly precarious.
On Monday, April 13 the Pakistani parliament endorsed concessions to Taliban allies in the Swat valley. At the heart of the arrangement is for Sharia law to be applied in certain areas of the Northwest Frontier Province. (Related video from al-jazeera)
In a related move an extremist cleric was released from confinement. He immediately called for further government concessions, including the application of Sharia law throughout Pakistan.
In the Daily Times Abbas Rashid writes, “If ceding Swat was meant to appease the hunger of the militants, it has obviously served only to whet their appetite.”
Earlier today (Saturday) there was another Taliban attack in the Northwest killing at least twenty, according to the BBC.
In an interview with CNN (video), Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed surprise at the Pakistani government concessions. The US military chief also emphasized the fundamental role of Pakistan in defeating Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Jonathon Kay writes on Pakistan: Let’s be prepared for the worst
The Council on Foreign Relations published a recent paper on Pakistan’s new generation of terrorists