The attack on Mumbai is having its political fallout at this moment. It will continue till at least the general elections around March 2009. Perhaps I should worry about that, but frankly, both the BJP and the Congress have proved to be bunches of dickheads when it comes to matters of national security. There's little to choose between the two. The only difference is in the noises they make.
So my concern is more about who launched this attack and why. Several observers are saying it was Lashkar-e-Toiba with al Qaeda strategising. A few are saying ISI and Pak army - their SSG commandos. On Thursday and Friday, I was telling folks in office it's the former, but today, in light of more information, I'm more inclined to think it's the latter or an amalgamation of both. This was most likely strategised by elements in the Pakistan establishment. Training was excellent, Pak army. Execution - we'll know soon, for sure.
My initial hunch was this was done to ease pressure from the al Qaeda on the Pak-Afghan border, besides hurting India, and other countries hated by Pak extremists, like USA, UK, Israel. However there are other strategic factors that also may have played into this.
The Pakistan military is worried about the possible balkanisation of the country, and those fears have grown since the appearance of maps put out by US agencies showing exactly this. The US's recent National Intelligence Committee report questioning whether Pakistan would hold together until 2025, and talking of the erasure of the Durand Line, can't have done much to ease the worries of those chaps. In early November, maps also appeared on billboards in NWFP that showed a free Pashtunistan. Wonder who put those up - the moderate, nationalist Pashtuns or friends of the Taliban?
The Taliban is looking for a homeland, but in whose interest is it to give it to them? Is Mumbai the first point on a trajectory that will lead to a war which will see either the creation of a new country between Afghanistan and Pakistan or the fall of Kabul?
I have no access to information to be able to analyse this properly, and no time after my day job to give it a proper go. However, those who do may perhaps ponder deeper into the matter. And do let me know what your thoughts on this are.