Pakistan has been exploding in October 2009 as never before where in one single month more than nineteen major bombing incidents, the might of the Pakistan Army and the intelligence and security apparatus stood challenged and where the citadels of Pakistan’s much vaunted might, the Pakistan Army General Headquarters and Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons storage and strike pad were more particularly attacked. The attacks were not only carried out by the Pashtun Taliban but also by the Punjabi Taliban from the heartland of Pakistan. So also attacked were Pakistan’s major urban centers like the capital city Islamabad and Lahore and Peshawar. The magnitude of these explosive attacks across Pakistan inflicting nearly two hundred dead could not be offset by Pakistan Army’s belated offensive in South Waziristan which took place only when both the Talibans in a defiant and taunting attack targeted the Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters in the heavily guarded garrison city of Rawalpindi.
Pakistan resembled more like war-torn Iraq with suicide bombings visuals more reminiscent of what has been going on in Baghdad. Pakistan presented a grim picture of a nation at war with itself and Taliban terrorism being outmatched by state-terrorism of the Pakistan Army brutally bombing the turbulent Western frontier areas with F-16 fighter jets and attack helicopters besides heavy artillery bombardments.
Pakistan seems to be imploding and nobody is more to blame than the Pakistan Army itself. The Pakistan Army took pride in projecting itself constantly as the glue which holds Pakistan together implying that the remainder of Pakistan’s political apparatus was incapable of governance. In a tragic irony the so-called glue which was supposed to hold Pakistan together has melted away.
The international community and the United States more specifically must note the horrible and holocaust-like spill-offs of the vulnerabilities of the Pakistan Army’s nuclear weapons arsenal falling into the hands of elements battling the Pakistan Army’s brutal repression of their homelands. The most severe fall-put could possibly take place against the United States itself.
Whether the Pakistan Army can put an end to Pakistan’s implosion underway by a victory in its ongoing military offensive in South Waziristan is in serious doubt. Going by Pakistan Army’s earlier claims in mid-2009 of success in military operations in Swat, Buner and Malakand against the Taliban and their control being re-challenged by the same elements the chances are that the South Waziristan offensive would too end up the same way. In a few weeks the Pakistan Army can be expected to declare that its offensive has been successful and following that one can expect the Mehsuds to reassert their control over their homeland.
How long the Pakistan Army can keep on hoodwinking its own people and the United States in this cat and mouse game is debatable. But what is not debatable is that the time has come when Pakistan Army’s external strategic patrons need to ponder over Pakistan’s future when it is so seriously imploding from within.
Pakistan is emerging as a very risky strategic investment for all its strategic patrons and it is time they review their investment strategies and place their strategic investments elsewhere.