Monday, December 29, 2008


'Obama says India can whack Paks, if that’s where the investigation goes.* Sovereign nations and all. That’s how the Times of India is reading it:

WASHINGTON: Sovereign nations have the right to protect themselves, US president-elect Barack Obama said on Monday, when asked if India could follow the same policy he advocated during his election campaign — of bombing terrorist camps in Pakistan if there was actionable evidence and Islamabad refused to act on it.'

I like the idea of ratcheting up the pressure on Pakistan. For many of the kaleidoscope of different actors in Pakistani politics, including the islamists and terrorist groups, there has been no downside yet for their continuous violence against Indians in Kashmir, Afghans in Afghanistan and Indians in India-proper. There must be consequences. At some point, the impunity must end. For a whole plethora of incidental reasons, it has not been convenient or timely to really punish those actors in Pakistan whose only 'fun' is the murder and subjugation of non-muslims. Perhaps Mr Obama sees an emerging window where that punishment is politically possible.

There is the factor of Pakistans nuclear arsenal, but I imagine the US and India have already investigated and planned for taking those out of the equation.

Pakistan is a basket-case. It cannot be trusted to police its own population and ensure they don't attack other countries from within its borders. Once enough atrocities emanate from it, other countries in the region and the world will have no choice but to punish it.

What will emerge on the other side? A Somalia or Lebanon, dismembered and highly disfunctional? An India, fractious but viable? Sadly, the former seems more likely than the latter.

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