Monday, December 12, 2011

The Pakistani Rumor Mill

So Pakistan is in the news…again. Really, no one’s surprised anymore. They always have something going on that inevitably winds up on the news. Today we have the headline that the CIA has vacated the Shamsi airbase where drone attack where launched. The agency was asked to leave after an air strike killed more than 20 Pakistani soldiers. Fair enough Pakistan. We acknowledged our mistake and got out. So what else is going on?

There is a rumor that the Pakistani government is talking to the Pakistani group Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP). The government says that they aren’t talking, but the Taliban says they are. Don’t you just love “he said, she said” fights? Some days it feels like no one ever grows up past the age of 13. If the groups are talking, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The U.S. has tossed around the idea of negotiating with the Taliban. It’s not like the groups are going away any time soon so they will have to be dealt with. According to one of the leaders of the TTP a peace deal has nearly been reached and 145 members of the group being held in Pakistani prisons have been released. We’ll see if this is true or complete fabrication. Likely it’s somewhere in the murky middle.

Another rumor is that President Asif Ali Zardari will be returning to Pakistan from Dubai within two weeks. As per my last post, I highly doubt this will happen. There is also the report that former Ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani is challenging the Pakistani Supreme Court on investigating ‘Memogate’ as it’s being called and on a potential ban on leaving Pakistan. If the ban is implemented, Haqqani is going to wind up dead on the side of the road. He was exiled under Musharaff’s rule, but came back in a position of power which is the story of civilian politics in Pakistan. I don’t expect the military will take that chance again.

And so with everything going on inside of Pakistan, 2014 really can’t get here soon enough.

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