Although created as a homeland for Muslims when it was separated from mostly Hindu India at the breakup of the British Raj in 1947, Pakistan from the beginning has been plagued by chaos and violence. It is not so much a nation-state as an unwieldy collection of competing ethnic groups, tribes, castes and interests.
Indeed, the return of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto last week to join an uneasy coalition with the selfappointed president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, was a product of a struggle between civilian and military authority that has defined the country’s politics. Her father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, was ousted in a military coup in 1977 and hung by Gen. Muhammad Zia ul-Haq two years later.
Last week, Ms. Bhutto herself suggested that the bomb blasts that ripped through a delirious crowd in Karachi and nearly succeeded in killing her had their roots in the long, intertwined relationship of fundamentalist Islamic groups with the army’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency.
The agency funneled money to Afghan mujahedeen when they fought the Soviets….
Fearing Chaos, U.S. Officials Review Stance on Pakistan
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