Events on the subcontinent are moving quickly, with
uncertain outcomes. In short order, Prime Minister Narendra Modi won a
resounding mandate. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attended his oath-taking, a
savvy symbolic gesture of potential import. One faction of the Pakistani
Taliban carried out a brazen attack on Karachi’s international airport, after
which Pakistan’s armed forces launched a “comprehensive operation against
foreign and local terrorists” in North Waziristan.
After a year of hesitation, Nawaz’s government has finally
joined the fight. But it’s unclear whether the Army has a plan to succeed. It’s
hard enough to fight shadows, sleeper cells, hardened Taliban fighters and what
euphemistically used to be known as “guest militants,” like the Uzbeks
reportedly involved in the airport attack. It’s harder when civil and military
leaders spar over punishing Pervez Musharraf for suspending regular order to
extend his rule, and when Pakistan’s military and intelligence services treat
media outlets and journalists who broadcast unwanted messages as enemies.
Whatever plans are unfurled in the weeks ahead will prompt even more
explosions. The only question is where.
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