Monday, August 13, 2007

Finally, Musharraf admits what everyone has known for a long time

The BBC report on the recent “peace jirga” convened in Kabul by President Karzai indicates that Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf acknowledged that Pakistan's tribal regions “had harboured Taleban”. But the same article also says that the the Pakistan government denies that it has been “harbouring Taleban and al-Qaeda fighters,” pointing out, as always, that it “has arrested senior militants and is battling its own Taleban threat in its tribal areas.”

Such statements exemplify the contradictions entailed in this conference: Lots of promises and high sounding ideals [the signing of a declaration calling for “the suppression of the illegal drug trade and the promotion of economic projects in their border areas”] without the establishment of effective mechanisms for actually putting these ideals into practice. We can indeed hope that this conference will indicate that a corner has been turned, but we must wait to know if anything lasting comes of it. We have seen such things before.

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