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Afghanistan
Resurgence of Taliban in Pashtun areas
2003-10-09
Western and Afghan intelligence officials in Kandahar claim that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies are once again covertly backing the Taliban resurgence as they did in the 1990s.
I think we've mentioned that here a time or two...
Islamabad strongly denies such charges, but it is clear that President Pervez Musharraf and the Army wants to retain influence in the Afghan Pashtun belt and the Taliban are its only allies to do so. Pakistan also wants to challenge India’s influence in Kabul and restrain the powerful former Northern Alliance. If leading US officials such as Armitage are prepared to turn a blind eye to these policies, it is clear too many Afghans and Pakistanis will suffer the backlash from supporting another round of extremism. President Karzai played up his anger with Pakistan to the hilt while on a tour of the US and Canada, accusing Pakistan, in a late September speech in Ottowa of "supporting terrorism." Many Afghan leaders are convinced that Washington’s silence on Pakistan is a US led conspiracy, with the Bush administration willing to hand over control of Afghanistan’s Pashtun belt to the Pakistanis. Such conspiracy theories are clearly far fetched, but the Bush administration faces severe pressure from Congress and the US military to reign in Taliban mobilisation in Pakistan. "We see the Pakistani army posts on the border waving in Taliban groups and then waving them out again," says a frustrated mid-level US army officer in Afghanistan. "Washington needs to do something," he adds. While Washington may want to reign in the Pakistani military, at the same time it wants Pakistan to deliver 9000 troops for stabilisation efforts in Iraq and help to capture Osama bin Laden before the US general elections next year. Musharraf is playing a deft game, exploiting his leverage over the Americans while doing just enough to curtail overt US criticism.
Perv is about as "deft" as a claw hammer to the forehead. No doubt the Pak powers that be think they're putting something over on somebody. Maybe they are, in the Solomon Islands or somewhere. What's going to happen when they discover they've only been further down the list all this time?
Posted by:Paul Moloney

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