The Pakistan state (meaning primarily its Army, its Inter-Services Intelligence and secondly the PM and the president) is increasingly pushed against the wall. Its handling of the investigation on the Mumbai attack may become decisive for its future.

Obama often “talked tough on Pakistan” during the election campaign. In August 2008 USA unusually decided to publicly implicate Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul in July 2008. Musharraf did publicly banned various terrorist groups based in Pakistan in January 2002. However, apparently Washington knows that Pakistan has continued to use terrorism as an instrument of state policy and it is no longer silent about such matters in deference to Pakistan’s strategic role in the “war on terror”. [url=”http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/01/world/asia/01pstan.html?hp”%5DNYT%5B/url%5D

Following the Mumbai attacks India implicated Pakistan as usual. Moreover a US counter-terrorist official said that “signatures of the attack” were consistent with the work of Pakistani militant groups such as [url=”http://www.cfr.org/publication/17882/”%5DLeT%5B/url%5D or JeT with links to both ISI and alQaida (and operating in Kashmir and elsewhere). [url=”http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/11/29/world/main4637744.shtml?source=RSSattr=HOME_4637744″%5DCBS%5B/url%5D

A US congressional investigation into weapons of mass destruction presented today predicts terrorist attack with biological or nuclear weapons within the next five years. The report believe that Pakistan will be the most likely source. [url=”http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/03/terrorism-nuclear-biological-obama-white-house”%5DGuardian%5B/url%5D

What can Pakistan do in order to calm down an increasingly hairy situation?

Shaun Gregory head of the Pakistan Security Research Unit at the University of Bradford hopes that the Pakistan army and ISI are now willing to seriously subordinate themselves to the democratically elected civilian leadership of Pakistan. A leadership that want to cooperate in the Mumbai attack investigation and want to normalize the relation to India.

Then let’s see what USA, China, Russia and others may do.

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We are troubled by the horrific attacks in Mumbai last night. Our thoughts goes to the victims, their relatives and friends.

We are also concerned about the possible implications of the recent wave of terror in India. While outbursts of ultra violence are legion in other places in the world and even in India, we are afraid of the potential national, regional and global effects of the latest series of attacks, especially those in Mumbai, one of the business centers in Asia. We hope that India, the largest representative democracy in the world, will not capitulate to terrorism and and continue on the path of counterproductive, capricious and authoritarian measures and blame games. We hope that this will not destabilize and divide India or affect its relations to its neighbor Pakistan. Regardless if the Pakistani state or part of its state has any links to these events or not, increased tension between the two nuclear nations is the last thing we need. While the surviving perpetrators should be caught and imprisoned, and if possible the eventual organization behind dealt with in accordance with procedural justice, it is also certainly in the world’s interest to seriously address root causes such as democratic and judicial deficits, grievances, exclusion and structural violence on national and transnational levels.