** Afghanistan, Pakistan and India
I've renamed this thread to "Afghanistan, Pakistan and India" from
"Pakistan," even though Pakistan is still the main focus, at least for
Many people (including me) have said that Pakistan is the most
dangerous country in the world.
I've written dozens of articles on Pakistan, including the following
in 2008:** Pakistan nears bankruptcy, as China refuses aid
** http://www.generationaldynamics.com/cgi-bin/D.PL?xct=gd.e081020#e081020** Islamabad Pakistan: Massive Taliban/al-Qaeda terrorist bombing
** http://www.generationaldynamics.com/cgi-bin/D.PL?xct=gd.e080922#e080922** Asif Ali Zardari, widower of Benazir Bhutto, wins Pakistan presidency
** http://www.generationaldynamics.com/cgi-bin/D.PL?xct=gd.e080908#e080908** Pakistan's government coalition dissolves following dispute over Taliban
** http://www.generationaldynamics.com/cgi-bin/D.PL?xct=gd.e080826#e080826** Pakistan government crisis deepens, following Musharraf's resignation
** http://www.generationaldynamics.com/cgi-bin/D.PL?xct=gd.e080823#e080823** 'The deal is done' for Pakistan's President Musharraf to resign
** http://www.generationaldynamics.com/cgi-bin/D.PL?xct=gd.e080815b#e080815b** Pakistan government combines chaos with paralysis as Musharraf is threatened with impeachment.
** http://www.generationaldynamics.com/cgi-bin/D.PL?xct=gd.e080808#e080808** CIA accuses Pakistan's ISI of aiding in Indian embassy bombing in Kabul
** http://www.generationaldynamics.com/cgi-bin/D.PL?xct=gd.e080803b#e080803b** Pakistan is paralyzed as Tehrik-e-Taliban advances in NorthWest
** http://www.generationaldynamics.com/cgi-bin/D.PL?xct=gd.e080629#e080629** Pakistan's tribal areas have become the world nerve center for al-Qaeda terrorism
The major ethnic groups that Pakistan shares with India and
Afghanistan are shown by this map:
The situation in Pakistan is based on deeply historic ethnic
differences. Hindus, Persians and other Shia Muslims have been
allied against Sunni Muslim Arabs, Pashtuns and Punjabis for
centuries, going back as far as the seminal battles that caused the
Shia/Sunni split in the 680s. The last major crisis war was the the
massively genocidal war that followed Partition, the 1947 division of
the Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan.
(Other regional crisis wars were the 1971 Bengal crisis war to the
east, and the 1980s Iran/Iraq war to the west.)
Few people realize that former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf was
a Muslim born just outside of Delhi. He was a survivor of the bloody
1947 war, and he created a remarkable détente with India's Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh that kept the region at peace so far in the
2000s. In particular, Musharraf was able to keep the army's loyalty,
and keep peace among the Sunni Pashtuns, Shia Muslim Sindhis (led by
Benazir Bhutto) and the conservative Muslim Punjabis (led by Nawaz
Sharif, whom Musharraf overthrew in 1999).
With Musharraf gone, the violence between the Sunnis and Hindus in
Kashmir is increasing; the radical Sunni Pashtuns (Taliban) are
staging ever more violent terrorist bombings throughout Pakistan; and
the new President, Shia Muslim Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto's
widower, is in the younger post-Partition generation, and is forced to
manage the differences between his Shia base and the increasingly
confrontational Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Terrorist bombings have been increasing in India as well. In some
cases the Islamist extremists are blamed, but a new phenomenon has
been springing up: terrorist Hindu groups in the form of anti-Muslim
"Hindutva" groups bent on violent revenge against Muslims. A
Hindutva group is considered responsible for a major terrorist
bombing in India a month ago.
For many Americans, the major focus for this region is the war in
Ironically, Afghanistan is currently in the last years of a
generational Recovery era (first turning), its last crisis war having
been the civil war in the early 1990s. Thus, there shouldn't be any
big problem for the Nato and American forces in Afghanistan.
But there is a big problem -- the tribal area between Afghanistan and
Pakistan. Although the Taliban may be in a first turning, the tribal
area is drawing thousands of al-Qaeda fighters from Arabia and
central Asia, regions that are in a full-fledge generational Crisis
era. This makes the Pakistan war extremely dangerous, especially
near the Pakistan border.
One of the major diplomatic battles going on today is the American
bombing of suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda sites in the tribal
- The U.S. government position is that the Pakistan army has not
done enough to clean this area out, and so the US and Nato forces
must do it themselves.
- The Pakistan government position is that the Pak army is
perfectly capable of doing the job, and the Nato forces should stay
off of Pakistan territory.
- The Pakistan people are generally furious about the bombings,
although my personal suspicion is that this fury is mitigated by a
silent gratitude that terrorists groups that have been launching
suicide bombings in Pakistan itself are being targeted.
The worldwide financial crisis is only exacerbating the situation.
John J. Xenakis
Web site: http://www.GenerationalDynamics.com