They are enabled by an inept foreign policy and absence of governance that allows the most brutal ideologues to consolidate themselves within failing states.
The militants have found the most fertile ground in Balochistan, where the PPP government – operating on a single principle of obeying the most powerful – teeters between toeing a foreign policy that breeds international isolationism, even as it has become a punching bag for political parties vying to return to power.
For the Hazara Shias in Balochistan – protesting against the failure of the provincial government for failing to protect them – the bigger news is the PPP government in Balochistan is unable to protect itself from terrorism.
This week, Pakistan’s chief opposition party, Pakistan Muslim League (N) spearheaded a rally of political groups outside the parliament in Islamabad to protest issues like the absence of governance that has led to the massacres of Shia Hazaras, and “load-shedding” – a euphemism for massive power outages – that people suffer on account of mismanagement and corruption.
It was an event that brought “strange bed-fellows,” like Nawaz Sharif to ally with the Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman – the ideologue cum politician who allied with Sharif’s nemesis, Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf.
But these are shifting alliances that have the March Senate elections in mind, and will be likely disbanded thereafter.
Similarly, the politics that have brought the ethnic MQM back into accepting ministerial positions with the PPP is an alliance built in sand. Indeed, the calm in Karachi can quickly turn into a storm, once criminal elements patronized by every political party returns to action.
Ten years on, the politicking goes on at the expense of real developmental progress …a situation that has grown worse as target assassinations grow from the fall out in Afghanistan.