Pakistan, the world’s most failed and dangerous stateNovember 14th, 2007 - 8:33 am ICT by admin
Whoever emerges from the present political maelstrom to lead Pakistan will have to deal with the country’s unofficial status as al-Qa’eda’s heartland, the paper adds.
The seven autonomous Tribal Areas lining the northwest frontier have been havens for al-Qa’eda’s core leadership since the Taliban’s downfall in Afghanistan in 2001. From these strongholds, Islamist fighters have steadily penetrated the rest of Pakistan and revived the Taliban insurgency in southern Afghanistan. Armed militants have also recently taken over enclaves of the once placid Swat Valley in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province; only a few hours drive from Islamabad.
According to the paper, the Pakistani state is so weak that armed Islamist groups have a free rein over large areas.
In Balochistan, an ethnic insurgency is underway. In Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city and the commercial capital, a ruthless political machine linked to organised crime, is in charge, while Peshawar is seen as the hotbed of Islamist zealotry.
Pakistan for all practical purposes is in the throes of disintegration, and could most definitely be termed as a “failed state”.
Throw in the fact that Pakistan possesses between 40 and 60 nuclear warheads and all this becomes even more worrying. A highly sensitive body called the Strategic Planning Division led by General Khalid Kidwai controls the warheads.
Because Gen Musharraf can trust so few people with this job, he kept Gen Kidwai in his post even when he officially retired earlier this year.
Famous nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan is now under house arrest, but there was time when he was running a “nuclear supermarket”, supplying key components to Iran, Libya and North Korea. (ANI)
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