Sunday, December 24, 2006

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf says his government isn't aiding the Taliban. He says the Taliban aren't moving freely across Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. He says all the troubles are in Afghanistan.

Why then are Western and Asian journalists regularly going to Quetta in Waziristan to interview Taliban leaders? Why are Taliban madrassas training insurgents in the Pakistan mountains? Why are Taliban fighters to be seen wandering openly and freely in Pakistan towns?

Why? Because General Musharraf is feeding us a load of nonsense. Why? Because he calculates that Washington won't interfere lest that tip this nuclear state into the hands of Islamic extremists. No one wants to be responsible for unleashing the "Islamic Bomb", an ominously loaded phrase that was coined in Pakistan after its weapons programme was first discovered.

Pakistan is being treated like nitro-glycerin, unstable and ready to explode if handled roughly. So Musharraf won't deal with the Taliban problem and we can't either, at least not until they bring their battle to NATO and American forces on their terms.

In the meantime Musharraf is allowed to utter silly assurances and nobody, except Hamid Karzai, is willing to call him a liar.

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