Saturday, December 29, 2001
With this India-Pakistan standoff still inching ahead what happens if there is a war?

Firstly what about our boys over in Afghanistan? They are to be deployed in five cities, including the predominantly Pashtun cities of Kandahar, Herat and Jalalabad. What happens if the US don't take Pakistan's side? The Pakistanis sided with the US because (1) they didn't want to be walloped and (2) they wanted American help. If (1) happens anyway and (2) doesn't then happen, what would a sinister ISI chap with links to Pashtun warlords do? Realpolitik would suggest an about face.

The idea that the Pakistani military and intelligence are just a bunch of cowering Mummy's boys awed by a superpower might totally ignores the role they played in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

The best hope (apart from Pakistan and India not coming to blows), is that the troops will take a while to be deployed.

Another interesting point is the effect this will have on mixed Asian areas like Southall or Leicester. A couple of inter-ethnic riots could do wonders for the vote of the fascist BNP, at a time when they are aiming to win council seats in various parts of the country in May next year. This will be a nasty development.


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