Wait for it 3

If the US does not soon find a way to confiscate or neutralize Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal – and is there the least glimmer of a chance that Obama and Hillary (‘smart-power’) Clinton will even try? –  the Taliban will almost certainly take control of it.

Can we doubt that they will use it?   

Walid Phares writes (read the whole article here): 

Over the past few months, Pakistan’s government authorized governors in the Northwest part of the country to sign agreements with the leaders of the “Sharia Movement” in the Swat valley, a Jihadi front, to apply their interpretation of religious laws. The founder of the movement, Sufi Mohammad accepted the terms of the settlement with Islamabad. But his son in law Maulana Qazi Fazlullah the chief of the Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi organization (TNSM), who since 2007 has deployed his 5,000 militiamen in 60 villages forming a “parallel emirate,” is now on the march to expand Taliban influence beyond the “authorized” district. In short, the cohort of jihadists is not stopping, not reconciling, not de-radicalizing but seeking to eventually reach the capital.

First in Waziristan, then as of last year in Swat, and now seizing the district of Buner, the Taliban are conquering Pakistani land. Their technique is simple: Give us Sharia implementation or endure terror. Authorities have been choosing the morphine option: let them apply Sharia if they cease fire. But as soon as an area is “granted” to the jihadists, a new “jihad” begins towards the adjacent district. The “forced Sharia” gives the Taliban more than just catechism: full control, broadcast, courts, training facilities, and money. It just cedes territory and people to a highly ideological force. Their Sharia-based “Talibanization” grants them harsh show of severity and intimidation: girls and women punished, opponents eliminated, civil society repressed, a copycat of pre-2001 Afghanistan.

But the strategic consequences of the last “offensives” inside Pakistan are boundless. By reaching a distance of 70 miles or so of the capital the Taliban are putting the government under their direct menace. Pushes elsewhere are expected southbound and northeast bound. The army is deploying around public buildings; that is a bad sign. I’d also project a Jihadi push along the Kashmir borders with India. The hydra is expanding gradually, preparing for a massive squeeze.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, April 27, 2009

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