One of the major factors in Pakistan has been left completely out of this article. The people of the mountains are Pashtun, and speak a quite different language, in a rather different culture from that of the Punjabis on the plains. The latter are viewed as a foreign occupier in their region, with the army being mostly Punjabi.
Since Pashtun are the dominant plurality in Afghanistan, a sparking of Pashtun nationalism would likely bring a return of the area into Afghanistan, and shatter Pakistan into several national ethnic states, which might also spread into destabilizing India. Meanwhile, half the Punjabis are in India, and the Baluchis spread into both Afghanistan and Iran.For comparison, look at the fifty-one-year bloody struggle in Sri Lanka, which is much smaller.
The current situation is left over from the expansion of the British Indian Empire into a set of boundaries with geographic stability and long-term ethnic instability.
John D. Froelich
Upper Darby, PA
May 22 2009 - 8:41pm