Both India and Pakistan seem to be making some effort to curb what in the first days after last week’s Mumbai attacks seemed a growing risk of war. Both sides have continued to assert that their nations’ respective militaries are prepared to defend themselves, but fortunately neither side seems eager to push the tensions past the point of no return.
But tension with India has paid a surprising dividend on Pakistan’s internal political front. Political parties both in the fragile coalition and the opposition have come together for a national security conference to express their anger at allegations of a Pakistani government role in the Mumbai attacks and to pledge solidarity with the government on national security issues.
Perhaps even more surprising, tribal militants who have been fighting the Pakistani military along the nation’s border with Afghanistan have said that if war with India does break out, they will join forces with the Pakistani government and deploy to the east to fight against India.