Even here in Karachi, the pragmatic commercial hub of the country, extremists have taken over some neighborhoods. A Pakistani police document marked “top secret,” given to me by a Pakistani concerned by the spreading tentacles of jihadis, states that Taliban agents sometimes set up armed checkpoints in one such neighborhood here.
These militants “generate funds through criminal activities like kidnapping for ransom, bank robbery, street robbery and other heinous crimes,” the report says.
The mayor of Karachi, Syed Mustafa Kamal, confirms that Pashtun tribesmen have barred outsiders from entering some neighborhoods.
“I’m the mayor, and I have three vehicles with police traveling with me. And even I cannot enter these areas or they will blow me up,” Mr. Kamal said, adding, “Pakistan is in very critical condition.”
Truly scary. And what is even scarier is that all the solutions Kristof offers at the end of his piece are long-term solutions, which may likely take years to play out. What about the short-term? What about now? Is there hope?