As the rise of the extremist political party the Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) Pakistan continues to go unchallenged, foreign policy experts have argued that this failure should serve as a wake-up call for countries that are trying to befriend Islamabad.
Pakistan has been witnessing a rapid breakdown of its internal administrative machinery as its police and security forces have failed to control the countrywide violence engineered by the supporters of the radical Islamist party TLP.
According to Fabien Baussart, president of the think tank Center of Political and Foreign Affairs, Pakistan’s utter failure to stop the TLP from openly challenging the writ of the state by terrorizing people should raise red flags in countries that are trying to befriend Pakistan, especially Israel.
In an op-ed in The Times of Israel, Baussart argued that Israel’s attempt to establish diplomatic relations with a state which patronizes Islamist groups openly is likely to boomerang as France is learning to its cost.
In April, anti-France protests broke out in Pakistan where the supporters of now banned TLP took to the streets to protests against France over caricatures of Prophet Muhammad. The protests soon turned violent and exposed the grim security situation in Pakistan.
During the violent protests, hundreds of protesters and police personnel were injured and thousands of TLP activists and supporters were arrested and booked for attacking law enforcement personnel and blocking main roads and highways.
Several police vehicles were torched, buildings were attacked and policemen were kidnapped and tortured by the activists of the TLP across the Punjab province, with at least six policemen killed and over 800 injured.
Pointing to the Pakistan army’s role in the establishment of the extremist group, Baussart said that the rapid growth and influence of the extremist party in such a short period should really worry Tel Aviv. “The party (TLP), as in the present case, can virulently turn against Israel in no time, scuttling whatever grand strategy it must be dreaming in befriending an ungovernable Islamist country,” he said.
Baussart further stated that Tel Aviv should take particular note of the reports of Pakistan’s intelligence that have concluded that the TLP had not only challenged the state writ but decimated it.
“It is clear from the failure of the army and the Imran Khan government to stem the tide of anarchy unleashed by a few thousand TLP mobsters that Pakistan faces a prolonged civil conflict which is likely to be fuelled by the imminent exit of the US and allied forces from Afghanistan.”
Baussart, in his opinion piece for the Times, concluded that a diplomatic relationship with Islamabad would prove to be Tel Aviv’s albatross around the neck. “There is nothing to gain from supporting Islamabad. Instead, Israel should join hands with like-minded nations to prevent Pakistan’s surrender to Islamist forces like the TLP.” (ANI)