Can Pakistan Control its Terrorists Enough to Save its Chinese Alliance?
Creating terrorists is easy. Controlled them is hard.
Just ask any Muslim oil kingdom especially after the Arab Spring.
Muslim countries weaponize terrorists and point them at their targets. And then the blowback comes home. Take Syria, which spent all of those years acting as a conduit for Al Qaeda terrorists attacking Americans in Iraq, only for those terrorists to turn on Assad.
Few Muslim countries, and none outside Turkey and the oil kingdoms of the middle east, have been in the terrorism business the way Pakistan was.
But now Pakistan has a problem.
The United States is pulling out of Afghanistan. China is moving in. And a lot of the Islamic terrorists who have been kept busy attacking American and NATO forces will have to go after new targets. Pakistan has largely cultivated Jihadists as a weapon against India.
That's still true.
But these days, China and Pakistan are allied together against India. And the war there is heating up. At least if the Jihadists don't break the alliance.
After calling it a mechanical failure, Pakistan says traces of explosives have been found during an initial investigation into a bus blast that killed Chinese workers.
Pakistan has yet again changed its stand on the bus blast that killed nine Chinese engineers working in the country on 14 July.
Pakistan had initially labeled the incident that killed at least 13, including Chinese nationals and Pakistani security personnel, a "cowardly attack".
However, the country began downplaying the incident only a day later, saying it was a result of a "mechanical failure" in the bus, even as the Chinese side continued to call it a "bomb blast"...
Now, two days after the blast, Pakistan appears to have changed its tune again, possibly under pressure from China.
“We have asked the Pakistani side to lose no time in conducting a thorough investigation, properly transfer and treat the wounded, strengthen security measures, eliminate security risks, and ensure the safety of Chinese personnel and projects in Pakistan,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian has said amid reports of pressure on Pakistan from China to find and punish the perpetrators of the bus attack.
Can Pakistan "ensure the safety of Chinese personnel and projects in Pakistan"? Probably not.
Pakistan, like virtually every Muslim country, has responded by supporting China over its unruly Muslim Turkic Uyghur population in Xinyang. But that's the kind of hypocrisy that Islamic terrorist groups, for whom no government is sufficiently devout, feed on.
China can't tolerate being humiliated by Islamic terrorists. And Pakistan's government has at best limited control over much of its country.
This is a ticking time bomb with potentially very interesting results.