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Pakistan
Can Pakistan modernize while it's fertile ground for terrorists?
W

hat happened
Denmark’s intelligence service said Tuesday that al Qaida was probably responsible for a bombing at the Danish embassy in Pakistan. The radical Islamist terrorist organization recently threatened Denmark over caricatures of the prophet Muhammad reprinted this year in Danish newspapers. Six people, including two Pakistani police officers, died in the attack, which Pakistan said was carried out by a suicide bomber. (AP in The Washington Post)

What the commentators said
Pakistan clearly needs to resolve its “mounting identity crisis,” said The Boston Globe in an editorial. In many ways, Pakistan is a “law-based state,” but its intelligence service’s long record of “coddling” al Qaida, the Taliban, and “various jihadists” has left it “vulnerable to terrorist atrocities,” including the recent murder of Benazir Bhutto. Pakistan can start drying up the “the local swamp where terrrorism is spawned” by forging a comprehensive peace with one neighbor, India, and cooperating with another, Afghanistan, in “cauterizing the Taliban threat.”

The religious political parties are the ones that need to “condemn such senseless violence,” said the Pakistan daily Dawn in an editorial. This atrocity was reportedly committed in retaliation for “some blasphemous cartoons,” but it’s hard to see how “such heinous acts advance the cause of Islam.” And when religious parties fall silent as bombers “kill fellow Pakistanis” and foreigners alike, they only encourage more terrorism.

The “widespread impression was that with the induction of a democratic government, terrorism had ended,” said the Pakistan Daily Times in an editorial. Apparently, President Pervez Musharraf was not “the root of all trouble.” Maybe now NATO and Afghanistan will stop resisting Pakistan’s effort to launch peace talks in the tribal areas along the Afghan border where the suicide bombers are trained so Pakistan can “concentrate its mind on its problem number one, terrorism.”

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