Red Mosque on fire
Photo: AP
Militants coming out of Red Mosque
Photo: AFP
Photo: AP
President Musharraf
Photo: AP
The Pakistani threat
Growing turmoil in nuclear Pakistan bad news, may threaten world peace

After Hamastan, and possibly even before it, the trouble may come from the direction of Waziristan.


Waziristan is the region on the Pakistani-Afghani border where the world's most wanted man, Osama Bin Laden, can be found at this very moment, according to the American national intelligence assessment.


Bin Laden, along with his top command team, is reestablishing the al-Qaeda organization in Waziristan and attempting to provoke a coup in Pakistan.


Meanwhile, American forces are engaged in serious fighting against him and the Taliban but are unable to defeat them even six years after Uncle Sam's military arrived in the region.


There are two great differences between Pakistan and other countries facing the threat of a radical Islamic takeover, such as Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey: Pakistan has a nuclear bomb, and in the past it displayed very little responsibility and maturity in using its power.


As a result of this, senior American officials are expressing concern over the prospect of dangerous circumstances on several fronts threatening Pervez Musharraf's regime. And then, what would be the fate of the nuclear weapons that the Pakistani regime invested so heavily in developing, producing, and safeguarding?


Beginning of an avalanche?

Pakistan is at an important international junction, a critical one really, particularly during these times. Everything that takes place there has great implications for the entire world. Pakistan of recent days is flooded by terrorism and counter-terrorism.


This is partly a result of the riots and terrorist attacks prompted by the Red Mosque bloodshed in Islamabad last week, partly because of the demand to reinstate the chief justice of the Supreme Court dismissed by Musharraf, partly because of al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and partly because of various factions that have a score to settle with Musharraf and are getting on the bandwagon.


At the end of the day, the Red Mosque takeover may turn out to be the beginning of an avalanche that culminates in disaster. The toppling of the Pakistani regime or a different division of the government pie may constitute a direct threat on regional and world peace.


This threat may also emerge in the form of granting radical elements access to the "red button", or in allowing figures such Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of the Pakistani nuclear bomb, to continue his lethal export activities (currently halted as a result of American pressure).


In addition, such scenario would mean the loss of one of the most important elements that serve as a barrier in the war against global Jihad.


Bin Laden must be sitting in Waziristan at this time and feeling very happy.


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