Tuesday, January 8, 2008

US wants Pakistan to bite the bullet

By Syed Saleem Shahzad
Asia Times

"Pakistan has denied it will allow US troops to operate on its territory against militants, but this does not mean it won't happen. With the Pakistani Taliban consolidating supply lines to Afghanistan, and al-Qaeda cementing its bases in the tribal areas, the George W Bush administration is straining at the leash to take action. For President Pervez Musharraf, though, the country's internal security is at stake......

Part of Musharraf's problem is that while he is Washington's ally in Pakistan, he is also the representative of the military oligarchy. Further, his political survival has become heavily dependent on slain Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP). New PPP head, Bhutto's widower Asif Zardari, is in contact with US officials and is in tune with the "war on terror" and supports Musharraf in this respect. But this PPP support could be withdrawn at any time should it be perceived that Musharraf is straying from the US agenda."

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