Asif Zardari is in the US trying to get American support for Pakistan. But does he need to bring a begging bowl? Not that likely – Barack Obama has said for quite some time that there is a serious problem in Pakistan especially around the border.
But, to get any support from the US have the US government ordered that he send his army into Swat to repel the Taleban?
Personally I think you have to look east rather than west and over the Atlantic – I think you have to look toward India.
There has been little said from India about the domestic problems that Pakistan is having – that and the current election. But with Pakistan being a nuclear power India will be watching this crisis with open eyes. This isn’t about India taking the lead in securing her claim to Kashmir either – it is those Nukes that will be on her governments mind.
If they should go rouge – and we have no way of knowing if this will be the case – India will not want them to fall in the hands of insurgents who have proven that they really don’t have a problem in utilising what they need to do to gain an advantage.
The US will not send troops directly into Pakistan – that would just bring about a scathing attack from other nations – and would mean that their role in Afghanistan would become tenuous with the American people. They do not want a third war in another Islamic country. But, if the nightmare scenario were to be true, would, if the Taleban should lay their hands on nuclear weapons, the Americans send in a task force to either destroy those weapons or, more likely, destroy the Taleban within the Pakistan border?
I do believe that Pakistan can rely on the help of the Indian government – but that could be a diplomatic disaster for Zardari – it would to the Pakistani people that he was weak.
His options are now extremely narrow. And by the looks of things he is going to use the option of sending in Pakistani troops to drive out the Taleban.
Will there be a welcoming committee of American/British/Canadian troops waiting for the Taleban as they are pushed back over the border into Afghanistan – who knows. But you can be sure that Pakistan isn’t just asking for support by the Americans – they do have a real fear that India could do something if Pakistan doesn’t.