Conspiracy theories have filled a void in Pakistan that opened up as soon as the dozen gunmen who attacked the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team made a leisurely getaway without any apparent casualties after a 25 minute gun battle.
Pakistan: Now or Never?
President Asif Ali Zardari has said that an agreement signed last month to allow Islamic law in the troubled Swat Valley in return for a ceasefire was made with religious clerics, and not the Taliban. The Pakistani state had not negotiated with the Taliban and other extremist elements, and nor will it ever do so, Zardari wrote in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal.
India’s ruling Congress party thinks Pakistan is fast becoming the “Somalia of South Asia”. The attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore was the result of the state ceding its territory to the fundamentalists and Taliban of the world, a party spokesman said.
In a report released late last month, the U.S. Atlantic Council think tank warned that the ramifications of state failure in Pakistan would be far graver than those in Afghanistan, with regional and global impact. “With nuclear weapons and a huge army, a population over five times that of Afghanistan and with an influential diaspora, Pakistan now seems less able, without outside help, to muddle through its challenges than at any time since its war with India in 1971.”
from India Insight:
It's just not cricket.
Ducking for cover as bullets replaced bouncers... players evacuated in a military helicopter that lands right next to a 22-yard pitch... the same strip at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium that saw Thilan Samaraweera score a double century the previous evening.
“Everything is officially going to hell.” The verdict of a reader quoted by All Things Pakistan said perhaps better than anyone else why the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore marked a defining moment in Pakistan’s agonising descent into chaos.
from Left field:
Scenes of bloodshed on the streets of Lahore after gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team bus instantly ended any hopes Pakistan might have held of coaxing the cricketing world back to its grounds.
With violence at its highest level in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, you would think security must be the number one concern of the people there. Wrong: like much of the rest of the world, Afghans are worried more about the economic situation and unemployment than fretting over the outcome of the war between the U.S.-led coalition and the Taliban/al Qaeda.