The Pakistani government is "basically abdicating to the Taliban" in agreeing to the imposition of Islamic law in part of the nuclear-armed country, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday.Hello? Didn't anyone think of this possible outcome when the US gave a green light to the overthrow of General Pervez Musharraf? What's the contingency plan?
"I think that the Pakistani government is basically abdicating to the Taliban and to the extremists," Clinton told lawmakers when asked about the introduction of Islamic law in Pakistan's northwestern Swat valley under a deal to end Taliban violence.
If there isn't one, I'd suggest that the Secretary of State begin reading Professor James Kurth's article, "Coming to Order" in the Winter, 2007 edition of The American Interest, in which he advocates returning Pakistan to India:
While there were particular ethnic communities that served as loyal allies of imperial powers in imposing order upon disorderly cities and turbulent frontiers, there were also particular ethnic communities that always seemed to be in opposition to the imperial order, or, indeed, to any order other than their own peculiar one. The British called these “unruly peoples.” The most notorious of these unruly peoples—indeed, the British called them “ungovernable”—were the Pashtuns (then called the Pathans), who inhabited both the southern and eastern parts of Afghanistan and the Northwest Frontier Province of British India. And so the Pashtuns have remained, right down to the present day. We might now call them a rogue people.
They have been a rogue people at great cost to the rest of the world. The Pashtuns are virtually the only ethnic community in Afghanistan that supports the Taliban, and indeed virtually everyone in the Taliban is a Pashtun. It was, of course, the Taliban regime and therefore the Pashtun community that hosted and protected al-Qaeda before the American invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, and it is the Pashtun community in the Northwest Frontier Province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan that hosts and protects al-Qaeda there today.
Like many close-knit ethnic or tribal communities, the Pashtuns have an intense sense of communal identity and almost no sense of an individual one. They also naturally have an intense sense of their enemies’ communal identities, including their collective guilt. It is impossible to deal with the Pashtuns as individuals, responding to calculations of individual benefits and costs. This is why, after more than five years, no one has stepped forward to turn in Osama bin Laden or Mullah Mohammed Omar (the leader of the Taliban), even though the United States has offered a $25 million reward for each. The only way to deal with the Pashtuns is the way they deal with themselves and with everyone else, as a community that is capable of both collective honor and guilt...
...With its vast Muslim population of 130 million, India has had ample and generally successful experience with the problem of maintaining law and order invoving an internal Muslim community. In its ongoing Islamist insurgency in Kashmir, India has also had ample and often painful experience with this problem—a sort of Indian “near abroad.” India certainly is a willing ally in a grand coalition against Islamist terrorists, so long as we do not insist on formally calling them an ally.
India’s biggest contribution could issue from any future disintegration of Pakistan. This state has always been an artificial and brittle one, and in many areas—most obviously, in the Northwest Frontier Province, the autonomous tribal areas, and, increasingly, in Baluchistan, as well—it is a failing one. With a strong Islamist presence in the country and even in the military, Pakistan could one day become an Islamist state already possessing nuclear weapons. An Islamist Pakistan, perhaps with al-Qaeda operating on its territory, would probably be the most dangerous state in the world, a rogue state in the fullest sense of the term.
If the United States should ever determine that this state had to be put to an end, India would be the best ally to help do it—to “crack the Paks”, as it were. The ruins of this artificial country would produce four or five separate ethnic provinces, each of which could be reconstructed and ordered by a new Indian Raj with a mixture of direct and indirect rule—in a way not unlike the British Raj that once ruled these very same provinces.