By Craig Cohen; Frederick Barton; Center for Strategic and International Studies
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Extra info for A perilous course : U.S. strategy and assistance to Pakistan ; a report of the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project
3. Ethnic and sectarian tensions. The third rail in Pakistani society has always been ethnic and sectarian tensions. The current wave of discontent with Musharraf’s rule has begun to take on an ethnic character, for instance, when the Mohajir-based MQM who are allied with Musharraf were blamed for violence in Karachi against the Chaudhry demonstrators. Sunni-Shi’i violence in the broader Middle East may eventually provoke sectarian tensions in Pakistan. The presence of foreign militants whose objective may be precisely to incite such hatreds is a direct threat to stability.
S. military personnel the opportunity to build relationships with their counterparts in a way that providing military hardware or making quick country visits does not permit. S. Departments of State and Justice have a number of internal securityrelated programs focused on Pakistan’s border areas, including programs in counternarcotics, antitrafficking, and police reform. More than 25 percent of poppies produced in Afghanistan, for instance, are trafficked through Pakistan. The value of goods and people smuggled through Pakistan each year has been estimated at more than $30 billion, or roughly one-tenth of the country’s official 27 GDP.
ANALYSIS AND ANTICIPATION 17 of the Red Mosque standoff and the lack of intelligence on the heavy weaponry and bunkers eventually found inside the Mosque, sent a signal to some that the military’s domestic control may have its limits. Others have argued that a generational divide exists in the Pakistani military between senior leadership and core commanders, a divide that could reflect a broader divergence of views toward the United States. Earlier this summer, Musharraf had his core commanders attest publicly to their loyalty and faith in his abilities, a sign to some of his own insecurity.