This is a really succinct editorial in The News that says two very important things:

The JUI-F has poached the Pashtun vote from the secular Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party just as it did when it pushed aside the secular ANP in NWFP. We note how difficult it is for the ANP – now in power in NWFP – to get support from the centre in the battle to contain and control extremism. In Balochistan Taliban supporters, both covertly and overtly, help extremism against the secular parties which are, inconveniently, nationalist as well as secular.


Balochistan has become a part of the hinge on which the history of Pakistan now turns. Challenging the writ of the Taliban is tricky as it is both difficult and dangerous to confront a grouping that says it is working within the religious constitution of the state – the constitution which has the Sharia at its very heart. Few of us would wish to risk the wrath of the extremists by challenging them as they will always counter with the cry of ‘Are you not a Muslim?’ The components of the hinge are now almost all in place – but which way will it turn and who is doing the pushing?


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