Leading article: Progress in Pakistan

Share
Related Topics

As if to counterpoint the Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari's plea in London yesterday for help in the fight against terror, a suicide bomber detonated an explosion that killed 33 and injured dozens of others near the garrison town of Kohat in the north-west of the country.

The attack, claimed by a group calling itself Lahskar-e-Jhangvi al-Almi, seems to have been in retaliation for the death of a religious leader killed in Pakistan's latest drive against the Taliban and al-Qa'ida in its border regions.

It is as well to be reminded of the cost to Pakistan of its campaign to rid the country of militant forces in the tribal areas. A year ago, if a Pakistani president had come talking of Western obligations to his country, he would have been sharply lectured (and was) about Pakistan's failures to suppress extremism, the links between its security services and the Taliban and its role as a training ground for Western Islamic jihadists.

Today some of those charges could still be made. Corruption in the government still appears to be rife. Democracy is still tentative. Most of the tribal areas remain virtually independent of the writ of Islamabad while the connections between the security agencies and the Taliban remain. But it is also true that Mr Zardari, despite the charges of corruption, has done better than predicted both to restore democracy and to take on the extremists in his country. Over the past year Pakistan has launched a series of campaigns in the tribal areas with some initial success. More could be done, no doubt. Islamabad has yet to root out the main Sunni extremists groups such as Lahskar-e-Jhangvi or to get a real hold on the schools and training grounds of militancy. But the country's Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmoud Qureshi, is surely right to counter, as he does in today's Independent, that Britain needs to do more to control its own radicals before blaming Pakistan.

Extremism is a common problem now and, as President Obama has recognised, it is in Pakistan as much, if not more, than in Afghanistan that the world needs to put the lid on it. Islamabad deserves recognition for what it is already doing, along with more help.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Logistics Supervisor

£24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest supplier to the UK'...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate / Junior Software Developer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate/Junior Software Deve...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Store Sales Executive

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced Sales Executive ...

Recruitment Genius: Night Porters - Seasonal Placement

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Night Porters are required to join a family-ow...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A Yorkshire Terrier waits to be judged during the Toy and Utility day of the Crufts dog show at the NEC in Birmingham  

There are no winners at Crufts. Dogs deserve better than to suffer and die for a 'beauty' pageant

Mimi Bekhechi
 

Daily catch-up: how come Ed Miliband’s tuition fee ‘cut’ is so popular, then?

John Rentoul
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn