The 21st Century Phenomenon




The Western countries, especially USA and UK, responded with some disbelief when Pakistani President Asif Ali Zaradari signed, on 04/13/2009, a new law, the Swat-Law, which implements Islamic Shariaa law in Swat District. The law, in fact, granted the Taliban autonomy, in large and sensitive parts of Pakistan, in which they can build their power even more.

In the prospect of the Taliban in Afghanistan the Pakistani law insured a safe haven for the warriors in Afghanistan where they can regroup, resupply and rearm themselves before returning to the battle fields of Afghanistan. Even more, while the main supply road for NATO-ISAF in Afghanistan through Peshawar, the Pashtu tribal land, is severely threatened by the de facto Taliban autonomy in Pakistan the Taliban has now plenty of options to supply itself through Pakistan.

Despite the Tehrik-e-Taleban strategic achievement, the Taliban does not hold its operations in Pakistan and Taliban forces invaded, twice in the last month, the Buner province on the main road from Swat valley to Pakistan’s capital Islamabad putting the capital under alert. Given the fact that Pakistan is a nuclear power and the risk that it might fall in the hands of the most extreme radicals of the world, no wonder that the Western Powers, especially USA and UK, and India show initial signs of panic. The Taliban in Pakistan became, indeed, a clear and immediate threat to the whole world. Because of its timing and immediacy, even more the Iranian threat.

Indeed US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has warned Pakistan, on Thursday 04/23/2009, that relations with the US will be threatened unless Islamabad combats the rise of the Taliban.

His comments echo a warning from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a day earlier, when she said that Pakistan poses a “mortal threat” to the world by abdicating to the Taliban. Military and economic aid to Pakistan in a total of over 7 bullions is dependent on the determination of the Pakistani regime to tackle, contain and eventually overcome the Taliban threat within its own borders. So far Pakistan does not show the determination and will to do so.  

Taliban, from its prospect of view, faces the dilemma if to escalate the situation even more and push the Pakistani regime and especially the Pakistani army into the corner so they will fight seriously back for their own survival and, by that, to risk its achievements, or to reduce the pressure on the central regime and to be satisfied with what was already achieved.

For the moment the Taliban steped back, on Friday 04/24/2009, Tehrik-e-Taleban ordered its troupes to withdraw from Buner province. A Taliban spokesman said Commander Maulana Fazlullah had issued the order for fighters to pull back from Buner, just 100km (62 miles) from Islamabad.  Despite the alleged withdrawal the Pakistani army was sent in to insure the withdrawal. Over 20 Taliban were killed in the initial clashes and the leaders of Tehrik-e-Taleban said they freeze any further peace negotiation with the Pakistani authorities.      

The crucial crisis was postponed, for the time being, but Pakistan remains in the Risk Of Collapse, a mortal threat to its region and the world and the toughest challenge of all to President Barack Obama. Pakistan became a “Crucible of terror” as UK’s PM Gordon Brown described it in his visit in Afghanistan on Monday 04/27/2009. 


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