Is Pakistan The Biggest Problem?
General Pervez Musharraf might want to do the right thing, maybe it's all window dressing, I don't know. However, evidence points to continued and big problems with a broken link coming from Pakistan. This quote from Ahmed Rashid makes one think that it might be window dressing after all:
Rashid: When crackdowns do occur, they aren't effective. Three hundred, or even 2,000, people are picked up, they're held for 90 days and then they are freed as soon as the attention and pressure from the West has stopped. There has never been an organized campaign to combat it. It has never taken place.
Rashid: But that has been the argument for the last four years. The fact is, Musharraf is still here, he is still very much in power and absolutely nothing has been done about extremism. It is clear that Musharraf has a very political agenda. He wants to be re-elected in 2007 and he wants to remain in office until 2012. And for that, he needs votes. At the same time, though, he has been trying to be a good partner with the West. But his political agenda takes precedence over any commitments to combating extremism and terrorism. An army general cannot have a political agenda while he is trying to crack down on terror.
Quite logical in its presentation:
Rashid: The biggest fear of the Pakistani military is the new American relationship with India. The fact that the Americans are even willing to work with India's nuclear program now -- something they would never do with Pakistan -- makes the military very nervous. They want to keep the Americans on board, but the Pakistanis know that the long term interests of the United States lie with India. The goal of the Pakistani military is to keep the Americans on its side for as long as possible.
Very special note to Britain, one that needs to be heavily considered:
Rashid: The message was that you don't need to come to Pakistan to become a fanatic. You can become a fanatic in Yorkshire, in Leeds or anywhere in England because there's enough extremism there too. That's what he was alluding to.
I think it's time for Pakistan to put up and do the things that a "true" ally does in this war. I also think it's time for those who give them cover saying its a delicate and hard situation that Musharref is in, stop making excuses and hold him and his country accountable. It's better to know now and adjust strategies depending on Musharref's and Pakistan's ability to eliminate hate and terrorism within their border........................