Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Cold hard cash for meaningless promises. McClatchy (09.01.06):
"The Pakistani military is striking truces with Islamic separatists along the country's border with Afghanistan, freeing Pakistani militants and al-Qaida fighters to join Taliban insurgents battling U.S.-led troops and government forces in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani regime of Gen. Pervez Musharraf has been negotiating truces - with the Bush administration's encouragement - with Islamic separatists in North Waziristan and South Waziristan, mountainous tribal areas along the Afghan border where U.S. officials think bin Laden may be hiding."

Truces fueling resurgence of Taliban, critics say

"In return, Pakistani officials are promising to restrict the country's troops in the area to major bases and towns and to pour huge amounts of aid - much of it from the United States and other nations - into the destitute region, according to American officials."

"But as the truces take hold, separatists have been crossing into Afghanistan to fight alongside Taliban and al-Qaida fighters, according to Western and Afghan officials."

Durn the luck. Who could have predicted that?

Here's what happened. In mid-2003, the Administration leaned very, very hard on Pervez to go after these guys, and coughed up "more than $1 billion" to fund the operation. The Pakistani army geared up and hit the bricks.

Unfortunately, its "use of artillery and air power in the border fight - as well as cross-border U.S. strikes on suspected al-Qaida targets - claimed numerous civilian casualties, forced thousands of people to flee their homes and stoked support for the separatists." Not surprisingly, this got a lot of Pakistanis very pissed off at Pervez. And the United States.

Pervez, quite a bit more sensitive to public opinion in Pakistan than George and the boys, threatened to the plug unless they switch to Plan B, otherwise known as the "if ya can't beat 'em, bribe 'em" plan. He also got George and the boys to agree "to support Pakistan's truce-making efforts and [to pledge] millions of dollars in additional aid." In exchange, Pervez agreed not to laugh too loudly on his way to the bank.

"Zia Mojadedi, a senior national security aide to Karzai, criticized the Bush administration for accepting Pakistani assurances that the new truces include rebel promises not to join the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan."

"'The thrust of (Pakistan's) strategy remains the same: how to milk the Americans' for more money, he said."



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