October 18, 2009

Suicide attacks in Iran - The Pakistan effect?

So a suicide bomber today killed "several top commanders in Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards" and the Iranians blamed the US and the UK. So far, so predictable. But away from the grandstanding, it was a slightly different story.

One of the Pakistani news channels just reported that the Iranian foreign minister called in the Pakistani ambassador to complain that his country's territory was being used as a launch pad by terrorists to attack Iran.

BBC is reporting that Jundullah, a Sunni terrorist group operating in Iranian Balouchistan, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The obvious question that springs to mind is whether an instable Pakistan is leaking fall out. It's one thing if Pakistani actors are cultivating mini armies to use against neighbours in a competition for influence or to bleed an opponent. It's quite another if Pakistani territory is being used by armed groups in a pre-9/11 Afghanistan type situation. In fact, it has the potential to be worse, because Afghanistan's Taliban government hadn't spent decades training mini armies that had support networks and physical assets all over their territory. Of course, it didn't also have nuclear weapons.

If something similar happens in China's Xinjiang provice, does Pakistan get like a toaster... free refill, or something?