Power Struggle in Pakistan

So we finally have the admission, that Ajmal Kasab, one of the terrorists who attacked Mumbai is indeed from Pakistan. And the man who shared this admission with the world, Pakistan's National Security Advisor (NSA) Mahmud Ali Durrani, paid dearly for his honesty. He was fired forthwith by Prime minister Gilani!

If there was a case of being in denial, none is clearer. For a country on the verge of implosion, it is astounding that Pakistan should still behave as though pronouncements of innocence will clear them of their responsibility. Durrani's firing is just the freshest example of the ongoing struggle within Pakistan about how to deal with India after Mumbai attacks.

Fortunately, there are a few in Pakistan who would like to move the country off its current disastrous course becoming an international pariah. On the other hand are the hard liners who view that Pakistan state's raison d'ĂȘtre is to stand against India - at any cost, including self destruction. My hope was that President Zardari, who supposedly belongs to the former group, would be able to steer the country off the course of self destrucion. But with Durrani gone Zardari is now engaged in a power struggle with the old military establishment now represented by Prime minister Gilani and Army Chief Ashfaq Kayani.

The stakes in this power struggle are very high. If Pakistan continues to deny complicity of its nationals in the Mumbai attacks, it would be a signal to the world that Pakistan is not serious about tackling the fundamentalist problem it helped create. On the other hand if Pakistan choses to take action against the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks on grounds of international security, it will receive support from the International community in the form of military and economic support to rebuild its society.

While all this is going on, the people of Pakistan are the looser.

If Pakistan continues on its current course, there is little hope of rescuing Pakistani economy that is in shambles. But if Pakistan choose the right course, the world including US and India, would help Pakistan put its economy back on track, there by giving hope to millions and driving support away from the nefarious religious elements.

Lets hope that Pakistani leaders take the right decision.
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