Pak floods perfect platform for jihadis to undermine state, hit fight against terror: Experts

Posted By: Samyuktha
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Washington, Aug 23(ANI): American and Pakistani experts reckon that the massive flooding in Pakistan has not only created a tide of human misery, but also a political torrent that could sweep away the government.

The Pakistan government was already weak and unpopular before the floods, which have affected nearly 20 million people and submerged almost one-fifth of the country, and the meek response to the crisis has only made matters worse for the 'democratic' set up.

"The shifting of the army's focus toward disaster management gives the Taliban and Al-Qaeda elements space and time to try to expand their activities in Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan," The Globe and Mail quoted Stratfor, a geopolitical consultancy based in the United States, as saying in a recent report.

"The deterioration of social and economic circumstances creates the perfect atmosphere for jihadists to realize their goals of undermining the state," it added.

A senior American official has also raised fears that the Taliban and other extremist organisations would make gains by stepping in to provide emergency meals and shelter to the victims.

"It certainly has security implications. An army that is consumed by flood relief is not conducting counterinsurgency operations," the official added.

Meanwhile, Simbal Khan, an analyst at the Institute for Strategic Studies, a think tank in Islamabad, insists that the floods would also deal a major blow to the United States' battle against Haqqani group.

The US had been pressing Pakistan to launch a military offensive in North Waziristan, which is used by the group.

"There was a lot of hope in the U.S. military that there will be movement in North Waziristan, come September or October. Now the Pakistan army has a very good excuse," Khan said. (ANI)

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