Things Are Going From Bad To Worse For

Things are going from bad to worse for the US in Pakistan. Now the Muttahida Majlis-i Amal or United Action Council, which groups six religious parties, is making a bid to actually form the national government in parliament. They put forward the firebrand pro-Taliban cleric Fazlur Rahman as potential prime minister. The MMA has pledged to end US FBI and military presence in Pakistan, and to stop the manhunt for al-Qaeda and Taliban remnants there.

As only the third largest party, the MMA is unlikely actually to be able to form the government. It may well, however, be in coalition with the Pakistan People’s Party or even the Muslim League (QA), and I suppose a rotation of prime ministerships could be worked out. The idea of a fanatic like Fazlur Rahman as the Prime Minister of a nuclear state that has serious frictions with India (another nuclear state) is pretty awful to contemplate. Likewise the idea of a pro-al-Qaeda government in Pakistan is terrifying.

One danger, to which the Pakistani press is alert, is that the MMA will get too powerful and go too far, forcing another military coup and possibly throwing the country into Algeria-style turmoil.

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