Jamaat-e Islami (JI), a religious party that boycotted the most recent elections over then-President Musharraf’s State of Emergency, remains an influential opposition voice, particularly in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Flexing some of that authority, JI announced today that it intends to begin blocking NATO supplies on Thursday.
Given the contentiousness of the US air strikes, JI is likely to find plenty of civilian recruits for creating hurdles along the route.
One has to wonder if Jl leader Ahmed is contemplating using civilian human chains (borrowing from Gandhi), barricades, or a combination of both.
Using unarmed civilians massively ups the ante in terms of creating martyrs, and if unarmed civilians die in this effort, that potentially indelibly etches the image of the US and NATO forces as truly evil in world opinion.
The PR disaster from the fallout here may well outflank the coming military disaster in Afghanistan.
But if Ahmed and his followers are successful in this effort, it will absolutely grind the war in Afghanistan to a screeching halt.