Graham Usher in The Nation:
[T]hrough the Red Mosque confrontation, Pakistan’s Talibanized Islamist movements have taken on the Pakistani state, casting it in the same pit as the pro-American governments of Iraq, Afghanistan and Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
In the past five days more than 120 people have been killed by suicide attacks, mostly in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) but also, on July 17, in Islamabad, where seventeen were killed at an opposition rally for Pakistan’s suspended Chief Justice, Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry. The safe money is that the Taliban or pro-Taliban groups were behind these attacks, though in the Islamabad blast the suspicion cannot be ruled out that Pakistan’s lethal intelligence service may have been trying to rid its leader of a judge who has proved so adept at mobilizing the nation against him.
At the same time, the Taliban has announced it is scrapping a ten-month peace accord with the Pakistani government in the North Waziristan tribal agency bordering Afghanistan, invoking the specter of a full-fledged insurgency. Thousands of tribespeople are fleeing, as many soldiers are being rushed in.
Rarely has Pakistan felt so much like Iraq and Afghanistan. Is it heading the same way?