En amerikansk etterrretningsanalyse fra 2005 spådde at Pakistan var på vei mot å bli en “failed state”, som ville være talibanisert innen 2015. Nå ser utviklingen ut til å gå enda raskere. Attentatet på Benzir Bhutto kan bryte ned det som finnes av demokratisk struktur.
In early 2005, a joint security assessment by the CIA and the U.S. National Intelligence Council predicted Pakistan would become “a failed state, ripe with civil war, bloodshed, inter-provincial rivalries and a struggle for control of its nuclear weapons and complete Talibanisation” by 2015.
Following Bhutto’s death in Rawalpindi on Thursday, some experts believe the timeframe on that assessment may now have been brought forward, with political upheaval pitching Pakistan, a nuclear-armed power since 1998, towards breakdown.
“It’s a very, very valid risk,” said M.J. Gohel, the head of the Asia-Pacific Foundation, a London-based security and intelligence think-tank, describing the possibility that parts of Pakistan’s nuclear technology could fall into militant hands.
“It’s only a matter of time before al Qaeda or somebody sympathetic to them gets hold of nuclear weapons, and if al Qaeda or its sympathisers are to get hold of them, then Pakistan is at this point the weakest link in the chain.
“It is the most unstable country in the world that has nuclear weapons. Iran may want nuclear weapons, but it doesn’t have them today. Pakistan does.“
Paul Wilkinson, the former head of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St Andrews University, said an unstable Pakistan could lead to a “nightmare scenario”.
“We could have a situation where extremists were able to control the nuclear facilities of Pakistan,” he told the UK’s Press Association. “That would be a very dangerous, nightmare scenario, and one that we really ought to be concerned about.”