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Crippled Pakistan

NEW DELHI – The problems and dilemmas confronting Pakistan’s leadership – including a deepening vortex of mutual suspicions, sectarian killings, and brazen terrorism – are almost too numerous to count. And that leadership – whether civilian, military, and also the now politically active judiciary – has proven congenitally ineffective, leaving the country with a broken economy and a paralyzed political system.

Central to the world’s concerns about the region is the complex reality of the two Taliban movements – one in Afghanistan, over which Pakistan’s powerful Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence has a great deal of control, and one in Pakistan itself, which is waging an increasingly vicious guerrilla war against the Pakistani government. With the United States and NATO due to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, there is a real possibility that the Taliban will not only regain power there, but will also turn Pakistan into a truly failed state.