India: Pakistani Army colonel was involved in Mumbai attacks

a sharp reversal from previous denials, the Pakistan government admitted last month that he was a Pakistani citizen and that the attacks were at least partly plotted on its soil.

This brings us to the beginning. It is not as if there is no value to getting the elected officials in Islamabad to be on our side in the war on terrorism. We should recognize, though, that even if we were successful in this effort, all we would be successful in is making allies with the weaker elements in the Pakistani internal power equation. These allies will be, as they have been in the past, ignored and bypassed by the more powerful elements within the Pakistani national security establishment. The results of this division are plain to see:

  • The half-hearted military efforts (we are being generous here) against the insurgents and terrorists in the lawless Northwest Territories.
  • The government’s surrender in the Swat Valley, allowing the fundamentalists to impose Islamic strictures on the population — and mistreat and expel those who refuse to obey (the Los Angeles Times did not mince words: “Pakistan’s concessions to the Taliban in the Swat Valley, located just 80 miles north of Islamabad, are a watershed in the country’s steady slide toward chaos”).
  • The not-even-concealed support the ISI has been providing the Taliban in their ever-bolder attacks on the Afghani and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
  • An on-going war in Kashmir which elements in the ISI run largely independently of the wishes of the Islamabad government.
  • And, more recently, an orchestrated terror campaign inside India, run by elements in the ISI and the Pakistani military, at the very same time that their nominal civilian bosses sit across the negotiating table from their Indian counterparts.

An effective war on terrorism, and effective nuclear weapons nonproliferation efforts, will be much more difficult until this division is somehow mended (we do not mean mended by compromise and concessions: rather, mended by the good guys gaining the upper hand).

As importantly, the very future of Pakistan as a state is in the balance here. One-hundred-and-fifty years ago, on 16 June 1858, in Springfield, Illinois, upon accepting the Illinois Republican Party’s nomination as that state’s U.S. senator, Abraham Lincoln addressed the deepening divisions between North and South over slavery, and the risks these divisions were posing to the future of the United States. He said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” This was true a century-and-half ago, and it is true today. Pakistan’s house is divided against itself. How long can it stand? How long will it stand?


You may also want to read these HS Daily Wire stories and analyses:

- Ben Frankel, “New U.S. Strategy Begins to Take Shape in Pakistan” (24 February 2009)
- Ben Frankel , “Latest U.S. UAV Strike in Pakistan Signals Change of Strategy” (19 February 2009)
- “Details Emerge about CIA Use of Pakistani Airbase to Strike Militants” (19 February 2009)