Zardari Takes a Few Nervous Steps

Gotta feel for President Zardari. He lost his wife to a terrorist attack. He inherited a messy, bankrupt country packed with terrorists, and an unstable Afghanistan and a thriving arch-enemy India as its neighbors. And now following the despicable act of violence by Pakistani nationals who travelled to Mumbai Zardari now has to face the wrath of India. Under pressure from the US government Zardari seems to have relented and cracked down on the LeT. Now India wants the terrorists handed over. Many in Pakistan are bound to be upset with recent raids on the LeT. The terrorists are probably planning their revenge for these attacks, while the border states with Afghanistan are under severe threat of being run over by the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Check out President Zardari’s piece in the NY Times. He says that the Pakistani Government has nothing to do with these “non-state actors” when its widely believed that these groups have thrived with support from the ISI.

Pakistan is committed to the pursuit, arrest, trial and punishment of anyone involved in these heinous attacks. But we caution against hasty judgments and inflammatory statements. As was demonstrated in Sunday’s raids, which resulted in the arrest of militants, Pakistan will take action against the non-state actors found within our territory, treating them as criminals, terrorists and murderers. Not only are the terrorists not linked to the government of Pakistan in any way, we are their targets and we continue to be their victims.

Then, he takes a “we are in this together” stance though he won’t possibly hand over any of the wanted terrorists to India. Begs the question, if Pakistan can share intelligence then can’t they turn over criminals too?

Terrorism is a regional as well as a global threat, and it needs to be battled collectively. We understand the domestic political considerations in India in the aftermath of Mumbai. Nevertheless, accusations of complicity on Pakistan’s part only complicate the already complex situation.

Nevertheless, a well-written article. A sign that Pakistan’s PR engine is alive and well. Besides Zardari deserves credit for attempting to reign in the LeT. If he can sustain this while continuing to remain in-charge (not to mention remain alive!), by keeping the Pak army at bay, and the ISI in-check, it will go a long way in improving relations with India. On the other hand, the general public in Pakistan would do well to openly condemn the attack on Mumbai like some Muslims in India.

Will Mr. Chidambaram respond with the Indian view?

p.s: Meanwhile, here is another very interesting piece on Pakistan’s struggles.

Author: Pran Kurup

Pran Kurup is founder and CEO of Vitalect, Inc.

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