What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The invasion of Punjab?

Bill Roggio over at the Long War Journal offers a timely look at the Pakistani Taliban-led insurgency's expansion into Punjab province, after a police checkpoint was wiped out in Mianwali there, on Saturday, and in the wake of the Dera Ghazi Khan suicide bombing a few days before that (which killed about 30 people at a Shiite mosque). Of course, one can note that these Taliban incursions into Punjab seem to affect mainly areas very close to the NWFP so far, but hey, not so long ago it was astonishing to see the NWFP become a battleground.
So a look at the issue is timely indeed, but in fact the Taliban insurgency is not moving into these areas only recently. Or, rather, the subject of the sentence is deceiving to a degree. Pakistan's radical Islamists have well-established networks all over the country, and there is the possibility that the Taliban vanguard is just pulling more and more of the radicals of different groupings, from under different banners, to under the Tehrik-e-Taliban umbrella. Also, the Pakistani Army's operations in Bajaur and Khyber appear to me to have pushed many insurgents behind the army lines, so to say, making the situation in the Swat valley in the NWFP clearly worse. And now there's trouble in Punjab, too.
Even with that in mind, it may be added food for thought how the Polish engineer who was recently killed by the Taliban, Piotr Stańczak, was in fact abducted in Punjab - on September 28 last year.
With all that in mind, one wonders where Pakistan's Realpolitikers are, or what they are doing. How come nobody noticed all this coming? Was nobody concerned? Was it beyond what they are capable of, to stop all this from happening?

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