Friday, November 23, 2007

How Will Pakistani Conflict Impact the World?


By Paul Staniland, MIT Center for International Studies. Posted November 23, 2007.

The conflicts on the Afghan border and within Musharraf's dictatorship could have a large rippling effect in neighboring countries and abroad.

South Asia has emerged as a strategically pivotal region, from the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency campaign in Afghanistan to the emergence of India as an economic and military power. The current political crisis in Pakistan -- with President Pervez Musharraf suspending the constitution and declaring an emergency on November 3 -- threatens core interests of South Asia's major political actors, including the United States.

There are two distinct conflicts within Pakistan's polity. The first is between rebels along the Afghan border and the Pakistani state, and the second is between pro-democracy forces and Musharraf's military dictatorship. The outcomes of both struggles will affect the rest of the region, with some implications potentially being felt globally. Who is affected by Pakistan's turmoil, and why?

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