The brutal recent attack by the Taliban on Pakistan’s largest airport raises major questions about security. It also exposes Pakistan’s impotence in the task of routing the Taliban — and its failure to even develop a strategy for doing so.
Worse is the possibility that Islamabad might be unable to protect its nuclear assets in the future.
Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership have long been incapable of deciding if they should launch full-fledged operations against the Taliban. It is unclear if even the recent attacks will lead to the emergence of a needed coherent policy and civilian-military consensus in the country.
Earlier last week, two American drones killed Afghan Taliban commanders in tribal areas of Pakistan. That was an indication that foreign militants are also backing the Pakistani Taliban. An Uzbek militant group claimed responsibility for the attack on Karachi Airport, which took more than three dozen lives and led to a halt in peace talks.
Reports indicate weapons used in the attack were imported from India, fueling more distrust within Pakistan for its eastern neighbor.
But Pakistan has to get serious about defeating the militants, especially as the American war effort winds down next door in Afghanistan. Otherwise, the risks increase that the Taliban may regroup on the Afghan border, further destabilizing the region.