World View: Pakistan's Attempts at Peace with Taliban Seem Doomed to Failure

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  • Pakistan's attempts at peace with Taliban seem doomed to failure
  • Bird flu and MERS virus show new potential for spreading

Pakistan's attempts at peace with Taliban seem doomed to failure

Nawaz Sharif, the new PM of Pakistan, made a campaign promise that he would negotiate with the Pakistan Taliban (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan - TTP), so that TTP would stop terrorist bombing strikes on Pakistani targets (and presumably leaving them free to focus on terrorist attacks on Nato and Afghan government sites in Afghanistan). At the time, I indicated that Sharif's campaign promise was a dream. 

Since taking office, Sharif has been attempting to fulfill his promise, but he's had one problem after another. 

First, the Punjabi branch of the TTP said that they weren't interested in peace talks, so they went their separate way. Then Lashkar-e-Janghvi (LeJ), which has set as its goal as the extermination of all Shia Muslims in Pakistan and has been methodically setting off bombs in order to achieve that goal, also said that they weren't interested in peace talks; LeJ went its separate way. 

That left the TTP with a couple of its branches missing. Then, on May 29, a TTP leader was killed by a U.S. drone strike in the tribal region of Pakistan. The TTP decided to "completely cancel" its offer to talk, and said, "We will teach a lesson to Pakistan and United States for depriving us of our leader." 

According to an Indian analysis, Pakistan continues to offer broad state support to "a wide range of jihadist formations" operating against Afghanistan and India. The analysis adds that Pakistan's "policy of duplicity" is failing "to contain the blowback of violence within the country." 

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, India and Pakistan are headed for a major war between Sunni Muslims versus Hindus and Shia Muslims, refighting the bloody genocidal war between Muslims and Hindus that followed Partition, the 1947 partitioning of the Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan. Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP)

Bird flu and MERS virus show new potential for spreading

There are two different deadly flu viruses floating around, each showing greater potential than before to start a worldwide pandemic. 

The new H7N9 bird flu is showing "unique traits" in China that make it more likely to spread. In particular, it is able to infect both the nose and the lungs, making it easy to spread, and making it likely to cause death from pneumonia. This indicates that a mutation has occurred, making the new bird flu virus easier to spread. Since the H7N9 outbreak began last spring, 135 people have been infected and there have been 44 deaths. 

The second virus potentially capable of producing a deadly pandemic is the extremely lethal Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Researchers have thought that virus is contained in Saudi Arabia, where it has infected 114 people and killed 54. 

However, it now turns out that the MERS virus may already have spread much farther. Dromedary camels, water buffaloes, and cows in Cairo, Egypt and also in the Nile Delta region turned out to have blood antibodies from the MERS-CoV virus. The animals had been imported from Sudan, indicating that the virus may already have spread there, causing more infections and deaths that have gone unreported. 

There is already grave concern that the Hajj, which will bring millions of Muslims from around the world to Saudi Arabia in October for their once in a lifetime pilgrimage, will result in the spread of MERS-CoV to countries around the world. 

Potential flu pandemics in recent years have been contained because of strenuous efforts by the World Health Organization (WHO), and that in fact may happen again. However, the world is overdue for a major deadly flu pandemic, and either H7N9 or MERS-CoV are possible candidates. BBC and Recombinomics

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, TTP, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, LeJ, H7N9 bird flu, China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, MERS-CoV 

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