Oh, There are Other Countries? Does Pakistan Matter?


Ahmed Rashid has a new book out, Pakistan on the Brink:  The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.


The following is from a blog post before the election:

"Ahead of the US presidential election on November 6 BBC polling in 21 countries has shown that voters in all but one prefer Barack Obama to his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. Pakistan is that exception. Obama would get just 11 percent of the vote in Pakistan. 60 percent of Pakistanis said they had no confidence in the current US president. Other polls show that 90 percent of Pakistanis are now anti-American."
"That means for Pakistan’s military the Americans in Afghanistan will continue to remain a threat not an ally. As far as the Pakistani “street” is concerned, at the moment most Pakistanis would refuse to vote for either candidate in the US elections. Sadly that is how bad the relationship has got."
This post is from today:

"For nearly a decade, despite constant tensions—and even large-scale terrorist violence—between Pakistan and India, there is one thing the two nuclear-armed states have kept largely intact: their 2003 cease-fire agreement in Kashmir. Over the past week, however, that agreement has suddenly seemed in danger of unraveling, with alarming killings along the defacto border between Indian and Pakistani Kashmir and threats of further escalation by senior officials on both sides. Though it has until now received little attention in the international press, this new confrontation poses a grave threat to the entire region. We ignore it at our peril."

In Descent Into Chaos, his previous book about Afghanistan, Rashid stressed the importance of Kashmir as the conflict in which terror emerged in that region as a tool of warfare.  He believes that the issue of Kashmir must be solved before Central Asia can enjoy peace.  Of course, he was writing before the US began raining violence on anyone and everyone.



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