'Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has said he will not allow Pakistan's territory to be violated by terrorists or foreign powers fighting them.
The newly elected president vowed instead to "root out terrorism and extremism wherever and whenever they may rear their ugly heads".'
But can he turn those fine words into stirring deeds?
If he can, he will be the first person in history to do so. The North West Frontier province has never really belonged to anybodies country- just to itself. In fact even that is not really accurate. Every inch of the North West Frontier province is the fiefdom of some tribe or other, perhaps a family even. It is an enormous patchwork of tiny fiefdoms, and to claim sovereignty to that patchwork is largely an empty exercise in self-aggrandizement. Occasionally the mountain tribes agreed to not annoy and attack the lowland folk, but they certainly never accepted the existence of purely theoretical things like 'Pakistan' and 'Afghanistan'.
For Mr 10 Percent to claim that the people in the mountains are as Pakistani as the folk in Islamabad is laughable. They won't oblige him. He is creating for himself a monumental hostage to fortune. Pakistan has quite a large army, but nothing like large enough to pacify the whole NWFP by force. I don't think the US army is that big. Of course, Mr 10 Percent is so macho that it must be physically painful to admit that he is in a no-win situation in NWFP. The guys in the hills are well enough armed to make a Pakistani army takeover a pipe dream, and if the Pakistanis don't take the matter in hand the US military will do the job for him, at least to the extent of nullifying the cross border capabilities.
Both will make him look like a big wussy. But hey, guy, thats the job you took! Bet it doesn't look like such a fab dealio now huh?