After almost 3,000 people were killed on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush told world leaders that they either supported terrorism or opposed it.
Pakistan, a country riven by competing impulses in a violent corner of the globe, does both. The storming of a school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar yesterday, in which Taliban gunmen murdered 141 people, including 132 children, made clear that approach isn’t working.
“This is a decisive moment in the fight against terrorism,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told reporters in Peshawar. “The people of Pakistan should unite in this fight. Our resolve will not be weakened by these attacks.”
It is far from clear, though, whether the gruesome attack will be something like a 9/11 for Pakistan, where the Taliban are seen as a legitimate counterweight to U.S. interests. Analysts who watch Pakistan differed on what the legacy of yesterday’s bloodshed might be.