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'Pakistan's law-and-order situation is dismal'

February 19, 2009
He added that the Asif Ali Zardari led civilian government had all but lost authority "in parts of the North-West Frontier Province and has less control of its semi-autonomous tribal areas."

"Even in the more developed parts of the country, mounting economic hardships and frustration over poor governance have given rise to greater radicalisation," he cautioned.

Referring to the covert support provided by Pakistan's intelligence agency to militant activities, Blair observed that for all of Islamabad's so-called "intensified, counter-insurgency efforts, its record in dealing with militants has been mixed as it navigates conflicting internal and counter-terrorim priorities".

In a scathing assessment, he said, "Pakistan's law-and-order situation is dismal, affecting even Pakistani elites, and violence between various sectarian, ethnic and political groups threatens to escalate."

Image: Locals look at the bodies of Afghans killed by Taliban militants in Miransha, the main town of the North Waziristan tribal region, in Pakistan. Taliban militants had killed the Afghans after accusing them of being 'American spies'.

Photograph: Haji Mujtaba/Reuters

Also see: 'Pakistan will be fine'
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