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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 8-Mar-2009
British Foreign Minister says Pakistan is facing a "mortal threat"

Web Log - March, 2009

British Foreign Minister says Pakistan is facing a "mortal threat"

Still in shock after cricket team ambush, Pakistan suffers another bloody weekend.

Perhaps the most shocking thing to Pakistanis about Tuesday's terrorist attack in Lahore on the Sri Lanka cricket team was the following CCTV (closed circuit television) video footage that was released a couple of days after the attack:

If you watch the full video, you'll see all fourteen of the terrorists nonchalantly walking away from the scene of the terrorist attacks, one after another, openly carrying their weapons. You can see them parking their motorcycles prior to the attack, and then riding away on those same motorcycles afterwards.

The idea that terrorists could just walk away from a major terrorist attack, with a police station nearby, gives the impression that the police were completely incompetent. British umpire Chris Broad, who witnessed the attack, said that the police had abandoned them, leaving them as "sitting ducks". This was angrily denied by the Pakistanis, who point out that six policemen were killed in the attack.

But the sight of those terrorists walking away, as if they didn't have a care in the world, is giving the impression that the government in Islamabad is completely incompetent. Even worse, the impression is spreading around the world that Pakistan is, or is becoming, a "failed state."


Pakistan Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), with Afghanistan on the left <font face=Arial size=-2>(Source: BBC)</font>
Pakistan Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), with Afghanistan on the left (Source: BBC)

Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband said that Pakistan is facing a "mortal threat" from its internal enemies amid worsening security in the country:

"Itís now vital that whatever the political differences [among Pakistani politicians, they should] come together to unite against the mortal threat Pakistan faces, which is a threat from its internal enemies, not its traditional external enemies.

This is a very grave situation and itís intimately linked to the situation in Afghanistan. Itís getting worse in a number of respects.

The tempo of terrorist attacks has risen and the combination of political uncertainty, economic decline... and then the security side mean that this is a particularly challenging time for any government. The degree of political disunity that exists at the moment is only contributing to the problem."

Adding to the criticism, India's External Affairs Minister said that the Pakistan government lacks the will or is incapable of tackling terrorism. India is still recovering from the massive '26/11' terrorist attack on Mumbai in November. It's thought that the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist group is responsible for both the Mumbai and Lahore attacks.

As Miliband says, the tempo of terrorist attacks in Pakistan is rising. While there were just six suicide bombing attacks in Pakistan in 2006, that number has increased tenfold in each of 2007 and 2008.

This weekend has been particularly bloody, as three suicide bombings near Peshawar killed 15 people, and eight police officers were shot dead in the border region.

As I've been saying for years, Generational Dynamics predicts that a re-fighting of the massively genocidal war following the 1947 Partition that created India and Pakistan is coming with absolute certainty. Both India and Pakistan are becoming increasingly polarized between moderate and extremist groups, and this polarization extends to Afghanistan, where American forces are slowly but surely being drawn deeper into the conflict.

As with other Generational Dynamics predictions, we can predict the final destination but we can't predict the path or scenario that will lead us there.

Now, as Pakistan's government becomes weaker and weaker, the outlines of that scenario are becoming clearer, though still very indistinct. It appears more and more likely that the first major "event" of this war will be some kind of collapse of Pakistan's government. However, that is far from certain, as there might first be a border war with India, or possibly an insurrection caused by the war in Afghanistan.

Whatever the scenario, Pakistan continues to be the most dangerous place in the world, as well as the center of world terrorism, as the terrorists continue to target China, Europe and the US. Not only is Pakistan facing a "mortal threat," but its al-Qaeda linked tribal extremists are posing a mortal threat to the rest of the world as well.

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, as well as more frequent updates on this subject, see the Afghanistan, Pakistan and India thread of the Generational Dynamics forum.)

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