In Pakistan’s Daily Times, Syed Mansoor Hussain writes about the rising presence and popularity of the Taliban in Pakistan, and how this parallels conservative Christian power in the United States:

What we are seeing in Pakistan is really the political divide between the liberal secular political parties and the conservative Islamist parties. Over the last few decades something similar happened in the US when the Republican Party swung to the right and became dependent politically on the conservative Christians for electoral support.

However much liberals might dislike the idea of Talibanisation, the fact is that what Pakistan needs most at this point is the kind of austerity usually but inaccurately associated with the Islamist parties.

…Unless we can de-link Islam and the Taliban it is unlikely that Pakistan can make much progress in this respect. And that, in my opinion, is the greatest challenge that faces us a nation at this time.

Is some degree of Talibanisation of Pakistan inevitable? The answer to that question is a partial yes. Traditionally conservative areas will become more religious in time, not unlike the so-called Bible belt in the US. But not all of Pakistan.

Read the rest of Hussain’s piece, including a satirical look at the positive effects of a Talibanized Pakistan, here.