2007 October 02 Tuesday
Insurgency Capturing Territory From Pakistani Government

A Muslim nuclear power is losing ground against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Pakistan's government is losing its war against emboldened insurgent forces, giving al-Qaeda and the Taliban more territory in which to operate and allowing the groups to plot increasingly ambitious attacks, according to Pakistani and Western security officials.

The depth of the problem has become clear only in recent months, as regional peace deals have collapsed and the government has deferred developing a new strategy to defeat insurgents until Pakistan's leader, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, can resolve a political crisis that threatens his presidency.

Meanwhile, radical Islamic fighters who were evicted from Afghanistan by the 2001 U.S.-led invasion have intensified a ruthless campaign that has consumed Pakistan's tribal areas and now affects its major cities. Military officials say the insurgents have enhanced their ability to threaten not only Pakistan but the United States and Europe as well.

Pervez Musharraf is busy trying to get elected. Read the whole thing.

Musharraf reminds me of Putin. Musharraf is also changing his position in the government (giving up one title while keeping another in his case) just as Putin is going to shift from President to Prime MInister. Musharraf is also going to replace himself with an ally for a position he is giving up.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Oct. 2 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday picked his trusted former spy chief to succeed him as leader of the army, and signaled that exiled former prime minister Benazir Bhutto would be able to return to Pakistan this month without facing charges.

Taken together, the moves bring greater focus to an emerging political arrangement in which Musharraf will have to share power with others, rather than wield it almost single-handedly as he has for eight years. They also indicate that Musharraf is increasingly confident he will win a new term in elections Saturday, despite a tumultuous year in which his popularity has sunk to new lows and his ability to hang on to the presidency has often been in doubt.

So how can he win an election while his popularity is sinking to new lows?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 October 02 10:40 PM  Chaotic Regions


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