MUMBAI ATTACK – Existential Threat to Pakistan

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Context
In the immediate aftermath of the Mumbai Attacks, former two-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and members of the other major political parties of Pakistan, declared that the ideology of the country will be protected. They also condemned the attack. It appears Pakistan is moving closer to a grave crisis; whatever it stood for since becoming independent in 1947 stands to be questioned, and perhaps requires transformation

 

  • As the US engages Taliban in NWFP, Pakistan is going through an exercise of behavioral change. It’s being asked to either voluntarily transform or risk this being done by India at the behest of other global powers. A country cannot appear to be playing games with the Super Power without a price
  • With the US Government in transition and, for that matter, becoming a world power in flux, all major international actors are positioning themselves for the policies of the new American president
  • It’s a forgone conclusion that AQ and the Taliban in Afghanistan cannot be defeated without Pakistan’s active assistance. Pakistan’s leverages thus would have to be minimized for any peace talks to occur with Taliban in Afghanistan or as in relation to any future mediation on Kashmir
  • The nexus between the AQ, Taliban, and Kashmiri Jihadi’s is a perfect storm that the whole world dreads and would have to be brought under control before the Kashmir mediation
  • Hidden between the lines of prominent doctrines, such as the Global War on Terrorism, is how global and regional powers influence others to get their interests. China will sooner or later defend its prerogatives, as Russia recently demonstrated in Georgia, and there is a need for India to do the same under the present circumstances

Analysis

Projection

If India launches cross-border strikes – it will be a perfect scenario for Pakistan’s Army and other regional Jihadi’s. There will be a quick synergy of interests between all these state and non-state actors. India is one thing that can always unite Pakistan no matter how fractious its political and domestic scene may be; the other unifying factor would be a Cricket match between the two

If the threat perception keeps increasing on the Pakistani side, there will be a moving of troops from the western front to the eastern front – though this move would not be a complete one. Pakistan would not like to leave the troubled frontier regions open for NATO to move in. Expect periodic problems with the war supply line passing through the tribal areas, not a complete shut down

If India attempts to exert pressure on Pakistan through the international community and the US, it will have a harder time convincing others. These significant others know that the root of the problem lies in Kashmir and has to be addressed one way or the other. Without solving the issue in Kashmir and asking Pakistan to deal with the Jihadi’s is tantamount to suicide for Pakistan. Besides, Pakistan is playing a much crucial role in GWOT than India fully appreciates or comprehends

For NATO, Kashmir is a leverage to be used against India while India’s role in Afghanistan (troops on the ground) is a leverage against Pakistan and China. Along the same lines, Afghanistan is leverage against Iran and China