Beating the Odds - Spearhead Analysis
By Jehangir Karamat
Several significant recent events need to be flagged. As a sequel to the US attack on a Pakistani post on June 11, 08, Karzai’s threat to invade FATA and President Bush’s endorsement of the Karzai threat--- the implementation of Mr Gates’s suggestion of a joint investigation is being done with some media reports now trying to explain the US attack. Without a doubt there has been a surge in the level of violence in Southern Afghanistan and the attack on the military parade and the Kandahar prison were a qualitative and significant up gradation of the militancy---this has prompted the Afghans to blame, without any evidence, Pakistan’s ISI for the attack on the parade and to talk of ‘Pakistanis and Arabs’ among the dead in the fighting around Kandahar. There has also been an escalation in the violence in FATA and Swat areas with killings of ‘peace committee’ members, kidnappings of security personnel, attacks on military and food supply convoys, burning of schools, raids as far ‘inland’ as Peshawer and the destruction of a ski resort. There has been heavy and continuous inter- tribal fighting in three areas of FATA. In an article in the New York Times dated 24th June Carlotta Gall has discussed the ‘leaderless drift in Pakistan four months after the elections’---an opinion that is being echoed in the Pakistani media as they report the wrangling over the judges issue and the Presidency. The national budget and the provincial budgets have been presented and are being debated amidst economic decline, growing inflation and increasing poverty. The Prime Minister has held a high level conference to evolve a strategy for counter insurgency.