Pakistan: Front Line, Fault Line

The hijacking at the turn of the year of an Indian Airlines jet by opponents of India’s administration of Kashmir, has focussed attention again on an increasingly dangerous fault line.

The World Today Published 1 February 2000 Updated 27 October 2020 6 minute READ

Mohan Malik

Director, Defence Studies Programme, Deakin University, Australia

As the crisis ended in Kandahar, Afghanistan, the five hijackers disappeared, with three militants whose release from Indian custody they had secured, into an area that some regard as a zone of chaos.

In their recent book, Anticipating the Future, Barry Buzan and Gerald Segal visualised the area west of India – Pakistan, Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia – becoming a ‘zone of chaos’ by 2030. The signs of this are already visible. The Afghanistan-Pakistan area is now the main centre of Islamism, drug trafficking, the illicit trade in small arms and international terrorism.

The last decade has seen the growth there of religious and fundamentalist organisations and terror outfits masquerading as ‘holy warriors’ and ‘freedom fighters’, causing death and destruction.

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