Vantage point

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Cant Help But Smile

A few weeks back I wrote about the Lal Masjid situation being like Pakistan's version of the Waco siege. Things have finally come to a boil with a couple of dozen killed and hundreds surrendering. But the extremist leaders are apparently still holed up, intent on "martyrdom".

Whether this snowballs into a larger problem remains to be seen. We all know how long the after-effects of Operation Blue Star in Punjab were felt. But as an Indian, especially one who has lived in a city hit by ISI-masterminded terrorism, I can't help but smile at how the Pakistani army's exploitation of religious extremism is now coming back to haunt it.

The real question is, has the Islamic radical movement reached uncontrollable Frankensteinian proportions? Musharraf's administration already has no control over Waziristan and parts of NWFP. Now a situation developed right in the heart of their modern capital. Does the army have enough radicals to disobey Musharraf and lead an Islamic revolution of sorts?

As much as one hates Musharraf, the idea of a bunch of mullahs having access to Pakistan's sizeable nuclear as well as non-nuclear arsenal is deeply disturbing. Not just for India, but also for the United States. If that happens, Iran will seem like Switzerland by comparison.

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