Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 18, 2009

Pakistan’s political problems proliferate

Filed under: Strategy,Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Philip J. Palin on April 18, 2009

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.

Further Background

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

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1 Comment »

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 18, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

What were the principal talking points when then Deputy Secretary of STATE Armitage told the leadership of Pakistan after 9/11 either you are with us or against us? Is that still the US position or is it more refined now and if so how and why? Clearly both the Taliban and AQ figure that if you can destablized Pakistan even better than Afghanistan as operations base.

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