Peter Hoskin

A new attitude towards Pakistan

A new attitude towards Pakistan
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After yesterday's siege in Lahore, there's a revealing item in the Times of India today about how Pakistan's neighbour is changing its attitude towards the local terror threat:

"...this attack is forcing India to change the way it has viewed the terror threat. Until now, India has believed that terrorism against India could be stemmed if only the Pakistan state willed to do so. This premise looks facile now...

...India has to quickly redraw its approach to Pakistan. At the highest levels of the government, the new mantra for Pakistan is "containment" or "quarantine" of the terror cancer until it's weeded out. That, of course, will be very, very difficult. And that's why there is deep concern here."

This mirrors the change in Western thinking that has come on the back of recent events in Pakistan.  Since operations began in Afghanistan, Western policymakers have tended to think that the Pakistani state would be both willing and able to deal with the Islamist groups within its own territory, and thereby prevent much of the spillover into bordering countries.  Now, even if the current administration is willing, it's abundantly clear that it's far from able.  And that's why we've reached a point where the option of sending British troops into Pakistan is getting debated in Parliament.