Manipal, India — Attendees at the numerous parties held in Lahore, Islamabad or Karachi would find it difficult to accept that Pakistan is heading toward Talibanization. Alcohol and the attentions of the opposite sex are there in profusion, while the passports of those present would testify to their global footprint.
Unfortunately, the gilded individuals whose aftershave has so charmed legions of otherwise hardnosed U.S. officials – be they spies, military or civilian – have almost no influence over the base of that country's social pyramid.
At the base, two generations of indoctrination have created a perception that what is needed to bring progress, absent all their lives, is the practice of the "pure" version of their faith. Of course this is only possible once the "impure" have been driven from office through terror and intimidation.
This idea was fostered by General Pervez Musharraf in an agreement with the so-called “Pakistan Taliban” – a formulation that ignores the unity of command and operation between those functioning on either side of the Pakistan-Afghan border drawn by British colonial overlords in 1893 and dividing the Pashtun people.