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To Help Pakistan, Undo South Asia's Economic Partition

Monday, June 27, 2011

The discovery of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, has raised uncomfortable questions about both Islamabad's relationship with terrorism and Washington's relationship with Islamabad. Even as the U.S. edges toward its goal of "disrupting, dismantling and defeating al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan," a cocktail of other groups in Pakistan -- Harakat-ul-Jihad ul-Islami (HuJI), Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) key among them -- are ready to step into any void left by al-Qaida, often with official support.

In fact, Islamabad has an economic incentive to keep them alive: As long as such groups are active, the U.S. will provide Pakistan with aid and weapons to help the Pakistani military destroy them. But if these groups are gone, many in Islamabad fear that the U.S. will abandon Pakistan. ...

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