Civil war has resumed in Pakistan. On June 30, the Talibs from the Province of North Waziristan broke the agreement signed in February of 2009 with the government of the nation and resumed military actions.
Pravda.Ru interviewed Sergey Demidenko, an expert with the Institute for Strategic Estimations and Analysis, about the possible development of the situation in Pakistan.
“The government of Pakistan made a trade-off with the Taliban in February 2009. The government legalized the Shariat law in North Waziristan , which the Islamic radicals required. Now they break the truce agreement, which they signed. Are the Talibs responsible for resuming the civil war?
“The state of affairs is not as simple as it may seem at first sight. It is not the Talibs, but the Pakistani government that is presumably responsible for the disruption of the talks. Pakistani troops have recently begun to intensify their activities in the north-west of the nation, in Waziristan, because the US government required so. The Talibs, in their turn, only needed a reason to resume the combat action against Islamabad. The movement seeks more independence from the government of Pakistan. Consequently, both the government and the movement are interested in escalating the situation.”
“What is the essence of the Pakistani standoff?”
“It is not only about the difference of ideologies of the Pakistani government and the Islamic radicals. All of them can be described as people who know how to wage wars. To put it in a nutshell, they can only promote destruction offering nothing else in return.”
“The long-standing struggle in Pakistan has been going on for years already. Why can’t they suppress the Islamites?”
“It’s because of the Pashtuns who reside in the problematic zones. They present the united front, and it is very hard to split them. The population of those districts supports the Talibs unanimously.”
“Like you said, they are unable to suggest anything constructive. Why do they support the Taliban?”
“Hamas has done nothing good for the Palestinians either. But they unite around this movement. The government of Pakistan has not done anything to improve common people’s lives. The Taliban used people’s protests in 2006 to announce the establishment of their own state in Waziristan . The movement symbolizes struggle against the central government for the local population. The people view the government as the source of all their problems.”
“Including the American problem?”
“Yes, taking into consideration the fact that US aviation regularly attacks local settlements killing hundreds of civilians. The Islamites used that for agitation among the population. They informed them of the government’s decision to let US troops in to “struggle against terrorism in Pakistan .”
“Pakistan’s former leader, General Musharraf, did not want to exacerbate the situation in the country. He knew that it was impossible to contain Waziristan. However, the United States could not or did not understand that. Musharraf did not want to cross the red line and was eventually forced to leave big politics. The USA shows pressure on the incumbent leader of the nation too.
“Pakistan is gradually losing the control over its north-western territories. It is not ruled out that both North and South Waziristan will eventually become separated territories. The conflict will continue to develop, although I do not think that Islamites will seize power in the country.”
“What about the nuclear arsenal of Pakistan?”
“The Islamites can get hold of the nation’s nuclear arms. Washington knows that Pakistan only has short-range missiles that will not be able to reach the territory of the United States. Nevertheless, the Americans will not let anyone from al-Qaida possess them.”
Interview prepared by Sergey Balmasov