I suppose the point of all the negative articles on Pakistan is to force it to do even more against the border rebels. Musharraf as the article notes has lost more troops in his battles within Pakistan than any of the allies in Afghanistan. He also has turned over many suspects to the US--often victims of the rewards offered though. Any co-operation with the US is anathema to many Pakistanis. Perhaps the US and its allies would think differently if Musharraf were overthrown and a genuine pro-Taliban government were installed in Pakistan. This is not to deny that many in the Pakistani intelligence service had and probably still have links to the Taliban.
Musharraf even though a dictator has to play a difficult balancing act to stay in power. Misquided brickbats from the US and others hardly helps.
, February 25 2007 @ 10:44 AM MST
Pakistan Fed Up With U.S. And Allies On Afghanistan
Contributed by: 4Canada
Pakistan tired of hearing it's not doing enough on Taliban and Al Qaeda, says Haroon Siddiqui
Feb 25, 2007 04:30 AM
PESHAWAR–Those who invaded Iraq claiming it had weapons of mass destruction and have been blaming Iran and Syria for the murderous mess in Iraq, are also the same people now blaming Pakistan for the mess in Afghanistan.
They say Pakistan is aiding and abetting the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Maybe it is. But U.S. President George W. Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have offered little or no proof.
The American media are running a parallel campaign, hurling a more serious allegation, that the Pakistan army is extending logistical help to the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Most such stories are based on unnamed sources.
The New York Times, which in the pre-Iraq war days carried phony WMD stories, is back practising the same sort of discredited journalism.
In a Washington-datelined story last week on ostensible Al Qaeda camps in North Waziristan, I counted 20 attributions to unnamed "American officials," "intelligence officials and terrorism experts," "American analysts," "counterterrorism officials," etc.
The assertions of Pakistani involvement have been repeated so often they have become part of the received wisdom of many Canadian politicians, editorial writers and pundits as well. I do not know and have not been able to ascertain whether Pakistan is guilty or not. But, given the track record of those making the allegations, we should be skeptical.
In the circumstances, it is useful to know what the Pakistanis, from President Pervez Musharraf down, have been saying.
Pakistan cannot possibly fully control the 2,400-kilometre border, most of it uninhabited terrain.
"If the U.S. cannot stop infiltration from Mexico, how do you expect us to control our border with Afghanistan that's mostly desolate and mountainous?" pleaded Tariq Azim, minister of information, in an interview in Islamabad, the capital.
Pakistan has done more in battling terrorism in the neighbourhood than any other nation. It has deployed 80,000 troops along the Afghan border, double the entire American and NATO contingent in Afghanistan, and has lost more than 700 soldiers, more than double the casualty count of all the allies.
It has helped arrest dozens of Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives, in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Musharraf: "Tell me how many Taliban leaders have been caught in Afghanistan. Name me one."
The Taliban do have sympathizers among their 15-million fellow-Pushtuns in Pakistan and among the 2.6 million Afghan Pushtun refugees living in Pakistan. But the main problem lies in Afghanistan, because of widespread corruption, opium production and the incompetence of the American and NATO forces, which have failed to bring security and economic development to the population.
"We don't deny that Taliban come and go but that's not the entire truth," Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, spokesperson for Musharraf, told me. "If 25 per cent of the problem lies on our side, 75 per cent lies on that side."
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