Ramtanu Maitra is a regular columnist with the Executive Intelligence Review (EIR), a news weekly published from Washington DC. He writes columns for Asia Times of Hong Kong, Frontier Post of Peshawar and some other newspapers in Asia on South Asian political economy and Asian security. He has written on terrorism in a number of publications in the United States and India.
On April 22, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned in her testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, that Pakistan was in danger of falling into terrorist hands: “I think that we cannot underscore enough the seriousness of the existential threat posed to the state of Pakistan by continuing advances, now within hours of Islamabad, that are being made by a loosely confederated group of terrorists and others who are seeking the overthrow of the Pakistani state, a nuclear-armed state.”
One year later, while the Obama Administration continued its mindless Afghan policy, which no one within the Administration can define, the dynamics within Pakistan have worsened further. There is evidence that Pakistan just might be caught in a whirlpool of violence which could result in an eventual breakup of the country.
To prevent such a catastrophe, most Pakistanis have come to the conclusion that what is needed is an immediate withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. Recent polls have shown that support in Pakistan for the Taliban has dropped dramatically, as violence has exploded. An opinion poll by the International Republican Institute conducted last Summer found that 80% of Pakistanis believed the country should not cooperate with America in the war on terror. Another poll, conducted by Gallup last December, shows that no more than 5% of the population in any of the country’s four provinces believes that the Taliban has a positive influence on their lives, including a meager 1% in the North-West Frontier Province, bordering the troubled Afghanistan.