HOW long will it be before the Army intervenes yet again in Pakistan's political life? Yesterday's audacious and outrageous terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team in Lahore was only the latest indicator of a country that is in danger of spiralling out of control -- a country considered essential to the West's successful involvement in Afghanistan and a country in possession of nuclear weapons. President Asif Zardani is showing that he possesses none of the political skills of his assassinated wife. He has refused to implement his undertaking to restore the high court judges deposed by former President Musharraf. His latest move to prevent Nawaz Shaif and his Pakistan Muslim League from participating in future elections is not only unconstitutional but also likely to prove counter-productive. It followed his almost inexplicable agreement to give militant forces in the Swat Valley the right to practise sharia law in return for a ten-day peace agreement. The Army Commander, General Ashfaq Kiyani, has a reputation as a calm man who is very reluctant to re-introduce the military into Pakistan's politics. Yet looking at his country today he may conclude that it is close to being ungovernable. By contrast the problems for the world of cricket caused by yesterday's attacks are relatively unimportant. Nonetheless it is becoming clear that Pakistan is virtually off-limits for all international sporting events.
PAKISTAN IN CRISIS