Jinnah’s Labyrinth

There is cruel irony in the observation that in Pakistan, founded in the name of Islam by Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Islam itself should now constitute the principal challenge to the state. It is no less ironic that Pakistan, once seen as the protector of Western interests in South Asia, has become the central challenge to those interests.

NEW DELHI – Three recent events vividly illustrate the dilemmas of today’s Pakistan, which are in many ways the same challenges faced by the country’s founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, over six decades ago.

The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan met in New Delhi recently, after a gap of more than 15 months, the terrorist attacks of November 11, 2008 having frozen bilateral relations between the two countries in suspicion and mutual recrimination. The New Delhi meeting marked a temporary thaw, yet even as Pakistan’s foreign secretary returned home to Islamabad, suspected Taliban bombers had attacked an Indian medical mission in the heart of Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 11 people.

Moreover, in the Pakistani province of Waziristan, three Sikhs, a minority in Pakistan, were abducted. When the ransom could not be raised, one was beheaded.

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