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04/26/2004 Entry: "Can it all really depend on Pakistan? Ew."

"After having carried out one sweep in south Waziristan with their regular army, in search of remnants of Al-Qaida and Taliban, Pakistani authorities have enlisted the help of tribal lashkars to hunt for cadres of these organisations believed to have taken refuge in the rugged territory."

"The tribal leaders have been told if their efforts do not yield results, the Pakistani army will restart its operations."

~snip~

"All these would indicate that even while there are regular public declarations of appreciation on the part of US administration about Pakistani efforts in the war on terrorism in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region, there is immense pressure on General Musharraf to show results in terms of the actual capture and liquidation of Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al Zawahiri, Mullah Omar and other leading cadres of Al-Qaida and Taliban."

~snip~

"If Pakistan succeeds in capturing or killing bin Laden, Zawahiri and Mullah Omar, his (Musharraf's) utility for US will be significantly reduced. Then there will be pressure on him to shed his uniform and the nuclear proliferation issue may be revived.

"Therefore, it is not in General Musharraf’s interest to give in to US demands and carry out the capture and killing of bin Laden and others.

"According to secretary Tom Ridge of the Homeland security department, the US expects major attempts by Al-Qaida to carry out terrorist attacks within US in the coming months.

"If another major Al-Qaida attack were to happen even as bin Laden, Al Zawahiri and others are freely roaming about in Pakistan, George Bush may have to forget about his second term.

"Therefore, General Musharraf is no longer in a position to hunt with the US hounds in the war on terrorism even while running with the jehadi hares at home - especially bin Laden and company."

~snip~

"Though Musharraf would like to buy time, George Bush cannot afford to allow him time beyond August-September, 2004. General Musharraf’s trial operations in the tribal belt did not produce uncontrollable street outbursts but only proforma demonstrations in the North West Frontier Province.

"The history of last 30 months of US-Pakistan military cooperation and US actions in Afghanistan and Iraq prove that public support to jehadism in Pakistan might have been grossly exaggerated for political purposes.

"General Musharraf himself used it to maximise his gains from the US. Therefore, the next few months may see vigorous attempts on the part of the general to capture and eliminate bin Laden, his gangs and Mullah Omar and his Taliban cadres."
Hunting with the Hounds. Time Running Out for Musharraf, by K Subrahmanyam, Times of India Editorial, April 24, 2004

Based on how much the entire Muslim world hates us because of Iraq, I'm not sure even Musharraf can deliver bin Laden, Zawahiri and/or Mullah Omar (remember him?). And it doesn't sound like he has all that much incentive to do so. If he doesn't deliver, he might lose US support, but keeps his power. If he does deliver, he keeps the US support for as long as we can stand it, but he loses some of the leverage this is his power now.

With friends like these...

Is it November yet?

Oh, and as far as another terrorist attack, God forbid; it might not be Al-Qaida who must be foiled next time. Now that we've made so many new and enraged enemies from the Iraq fiasco, it could be anyone. And I'm hoping the people who are charged with keeping us safe from such things realize this, too.

 

 

 

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