Shikha Dalmia on Pakistan's Out-of-Control Islamist Terrorists


Peshawar School Attack
Neon Tommy / IWoman / CC BY-SA

The slaughter of children by the Taliban in Peshawar has united Pakistan against terrorism. But does this mean that the country will crack down on Islamist terrorists and purge every one of them from its soil as many civilian Pakistanis are demanding it do? It is very unlikely, notes Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia. For two decades now, Pakistan's all-powerful ISI—equivalent of the CIA—has played a complicated game of real-politic "good terrorist, bad terrorist" based on whether a group serves its geopolitical ends against India or not. To control terrorism, the country's civilian rulers will have to rein in the ISI. But if they do that, the ISI will withdraw its support and boot out the government, a perfect Catch 22.