Pakistan: Rhetoric And Reality

Monday, January 22, 2007

Pakistan: Rhetoric And Reality

"I made a call to the leader of Pakistan. We had a very good, open conversation. And there is no question that he wants to cooperate with the United States .... (in) this war against terrorism ..."
President Bush, Sept. 16, 2001

"President Musharraf is a leader with great courage, and his nation is a key partner in the global coalition against terror. ... [President Musharraf] has declared that Pakistan will be an enemy of terrorism and extremism, wherever it exists, including inside his own border."
President Bush, Feb. 13, 2002

"President Bush and President Musharraf assert that the strategic partnership between the United States and Pakistan is long-term .... Both leaders renewed their condemnations of "terrorism in all its forms and manifestations' "
U.S. State Department, March 16, 2006

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Meanwhile, a Sunday article in the N.Y. Times pours cold water on the Bush administration's rhetoric:
Western diplomats in both countries and Pakistani opposition figures say that Pakistani intelligence agencies — in particular the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence — have been supporting a Taliban restoration (in Afghanistan) ....

More than two weeks of reporting along this frontier, including dozens of interviews with residents on each side of the porous border ... found many signs that Pakistani authorities are encouraging the insurgents, if not sponsoring them.

... One former Taliban commander said in an interview that he had been jailed by Pakistani intelligence officials because he would not go to Afghanistan to fight. He said that, for Western and local consumption, his arrest had been billed as part of Pakistan’s crackdown on the Taliban in Pakistan.

... "The Pakistanis are actively supporting the Taliban,” declared a Western diplomat in an interview in Kabul. He said he had seen an intelligence report of a recent meeting on the Afghan border between a senior Taliban commander and a retired colonel of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence.

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