Nytt

Pakistanske myndigheter gjøre lite eller ingenting for å stanse Talibans fremrykking. Noen hundre dårlig betalte og utstyrte politifolk var alt som ble satt inn mot Taliban i Buner torsdag. Hæren ønsker ikke å flytte på tropper stasjonert på grensen til India. Dermed finnes det ingen reell motstand.

USA er alvorlig bekymret. Spesialutsending Richard Holbrooke sender memo’er til utenriksminister Hillary Cliinton flere ganger om dagen. Hva skal USA gjøre? Kun pakistanerne selv kan stanse Taliban, men det ser ikke ut til at det finnes noen vilje.

Pakistani authorities deployed just several hundred poorly paid and equipped constabulary forces to Buner, who were repelled in a clash with the insurgents, leaving one police officer dead.

The limited response set off fresh scrutiny of Pakistan’s military, a force with 500,000 soldiers and a similar number of reservists. The army receives $1 billion in American military aid each year but has repeatedly declined to confront the Taliban-led insurgency, even as it has bled out of Pakistan’s self-governed tribal areas into Pakistan proper in recent months.

The military remains fixated on training and deploying its soldiers to fight the country’s archenemy, India. It remains ill equipped for counterinsurgency, analysts say, and top officers are deeply reluctant to be pressed into action against insurgents who enjoy family, ethnic and religious ties with many Pakistanis.

Man kan få følelsen av at offiserene ikke ønsker eller vil stanse Taliban. Det ser nærmest ut til at de ønsker at Taliban tar over.

Sivilbefolkningen ønsker hverken Taliban eller hæren. Lokalt har man forsøkt å organisere heimevernsgrupper, for hæren anretter enorme skader når den ruller inn: man anvender tungt artilleri mot gerilja, og det er sivile som får lide.

n Washington, a Defense Department official who is monitoring Pakistan closely said that the poorly trained constabulary force was sent Thursday because Pakistani Army troops were not available, and Pakistani generals were reluctant to pull reinforcements off the border with India — something American officials have encouraged them to do.

«It illustrates there is a lack of political will in the Pakistan civilian leadership to confront these Pakistan Taliban,» said Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat on the Armed Services Committee who just returned from his fifth visit to Pakistan. «The Taliban sense this huge vacuum that they can pour into.»

Hæren går inn for forhandlinger med Taliban for å få til en våpenhvile, og regjeringen er for svak til å motsette seg hæren. Den gjør alt for å overleve.

Det som tidligere var et skrekkbilde: at staten kollapser og Taliban overtar, er plutselig en reell mulighet. Tidligere – i krisesituasjoner – har hæren overtatt. Men nå foretar ikke hæren seg noe, og det er det mest illevarslende.

Kongressen skulle ha godkjent $ 7,5 milliard til Pakistan, men disse pengene er nå helt i det blå. Man vet ikke hvor de havner og hva de går til. Faktisk fører Obama-administrasjonen en tøffere linje overfor Pakistan enn det Bush gjorde.

A powerful religious party leader, Fazlur Rehman, who is allied with the government, warned that militants had reached into the Mansehra district, close to the Tarbela Dam, a vital source of electricity to the center of the country.

«If the Taliban continue to move at this pace they will soon be knocking at the door of Islamabad,» he told Parliament on Wednesday, adding that Margalla Hills, north of the capital, seem to be the only hurdle to the Taliban advance.

The Pakistani Taliban, who number in the thousands across the tribal areas and the Swat region, have declared their aim of establishing Shariah rule throughout Pakistan. But for now, their expansion may be opportunistic and their strength sufficient only to establish local fiefdoms, or «micro-emirates of Shariah,» said Christine Fair, a senior research associate at the RAND Corporation.

«I don’t know what the Taliban’s game plan is, but what seems apparent is the state has no game plan,» she said. «The Pakistani state is not able to stop them and they expand where they can.»

Pakistan har på kort tid gått fra å være et sideshow til Afghanistan til å bli stykkets hoveddrama.


U.S. Questions Pakistan’s Will to Stop Taliban