Tidsskriftet Foreign Policy byr på The Idiot’s Guide to Pakistan – en god og poengtert gjennomgang av situasjonen i områdene mot Afghanistan, der verdenspressen (til dels med rette) mener at mye er i ferd med å gå galt.
In December 2007, the smattering of bearded, black-turbaned, AK-47-toting gangs in FATA and NWFP announced that they would now answer to a single name, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or Pakistani Taliban Movement. For decades, Pakistani jihadists have used such fancy names to declare splinter groups (many of which go unnoticed), but some analysts latched onto the TTP as gospel and postulated that, overnight, the Talibs had become disciplined and united. In the process, such analysts have overlooked important distinctions and divisions within the pro-Taliban groups operating in Pakistan.
Også når det gjelder relasjonen til India (og terrorangrepene), er det rom for nyansering:
But we should realize that anti-Indianism doesn’t translate to Talibanism, what with locking up womenfolk and caning criminals and all. Consider the serving chief of Army staff, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, who is beardless, reportedly enjoys an occasional Scotch and a game of bridge, chain-smokes cigarettes through a long plastic tip, and is a favorite of the Americans. In other words, he’s not likely to declare himself “Commander of the Faithful” anytime soon.
Most Pakistani soldiers consider India to be their mortal enemy and would like nothing more than to incinerate their neighbor. They get that from the grade-school textbooks. And they will usually frame the conflict between them and India as one between Islam and Hinduism. This ground has been pretty well covered by others who write about Pakistan.
Artikkelforfatter Nicholas Schmidle har bodd i Pakistan i to år, og blitt kastet ut av landet to ganger. Jeg er usikker på om det siste er noe kvalitetsstempel, men artikkelen er vel verdt å få med seg.