Sunday, November 12, 2006

British troops will die for as long as Bush and Blair allow it

According to Ahmed Rashid, last week in Brussels, Nato ambassadors devoted two days of secret discussions on what to do with Pakistan. Musharraf has been supporting the Taliban in Pakistan despite claims to the contrary. Bush and Blair are covering for Musharraf because they want his support in case they decide to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities. The problem is so severe that Nato's very survival could be at stake in its summit meeting in Riga this month, Rashid says. Not good news.

British troops will die for as long as Bush and Blair allow it
Published: November 1, 2006 (Daily Telegraph)

Faced with mounting pressure from Nato over Pakistan's alleged harbouring of the Taliban, Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf's response was not to arrest Taliban leaders residing in Quetta, but to bomb a religious school hundreds of miles to the north.
European and Nato tolerance levels for Musharraf's two-track policy of hunting down al-Qa'eda, while allowing Afghan and Pakistani Taliban to recruit, plan and arm themselves in Balochistan province, is now at an all-time low. ... Taliban (and by default al-Qa'eda) base areas are being established in Pakistan's northern tribal agencies and Balochistan, which are spreading to the Afghan side of the border because of a shortage of Nato troops. International terrorists take advantage of such base areas to train, arm and collect funds. ...
British policy is even more short sighted. To its credit Pakistan's Interservices Intelligence (ISI) is giving its fullest cooperation to Britain's MI5 in tracking down British-born Pakistani militants who travel between the two countries. MI5 and the Foreign Office have been seduced by this cooperation and have warned British commanders in Helmand province not to rock the boat by accusing the ISI of helping the Taliban.
Pakistan .. . [has offered] full cooperation on "one-off" terrorist cases involving a few individuals, but [will] do little to stem the Taliban crossing into Afghanistan or the rapid Talibanisation that is taking place inside Pakistan. ... Despite the promises made ... there has been no reform of the madrassas, no serious attempt to deal with extremists and the military remains in political cahoots with the largest Islamic fundamentalist party that aids the Taliban - the Jamiat-e-Ullema Islam. ...
European publics want answers as to why the Taliban are back when they were supposed to be finished and why their media is reporting that the Taliban leaders are in Pakistan


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