Our alliance with Pakistan is the biggest reason we will lose in Afghanistan. Which War Minister O'Conor finally admitted, after having met with Musharraf. Coincidence? I think not.
PAKISTAN PRESIDENT PERVEZ Musharraf is supposedly a key US ally in the “war on terror.”
But is he, in fact, more of a liability than an asset in combating Al Qaeda and the increasingly menacing Taleban forces in Afghanistan?
Musharraf has been an opportunist from the start who has continued to help the Taleban (just as he had done before Sept 11) and who has gone after Al Qaeda cells in Pakistan only to the extent necessary to fend off US and British pressure.
On Sept 19, 2001, Musharraf made a revealing TV address in Urdu, not noticed at the time by many Americans, in which he reassured Pakistanis who sympathised with Al Qaeda and the Taleban that his decision to line up with the US was a temporary expedient.
To Taleban sympathisers, Musharraf directed an explicit message, saying: “I have done everything for the ... Taleban when the whole world was against them ... We are trying our best to come out of this critical situation without any damage to Afghanistan and the Taleban.”He has kept his promise to the latter.
Why the US needs the Taliban
On July 16, speaking to Electronic Telegraph of the United Kingdom, US troop commander General Frank "Buster" Hagenbeck, based at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, reported increased attacks over recent weeks on US and Afghan forces by the Taliban, al-Qaeda and other anti-US groups that have joined hands. He also revealed some other very interesting information: the Taliban and its allies have regrouped in Pakistan and are recruiting fighters from religious schools in Quetta in a campaign funded by drug trafficking. Hagenbeck also said that these enemies of US and Afghan forces have been joined by Al-Qaeda commanders who are establishing new cells and sponsoring the attempted capture of American troops. One other piece of news of import from Hagenbeck is that the Taliban have seized whole swathes of the country. What is happening? Both Hagenbeck, who boasts to the media about the high quality of his intelligence, and Khalilzad, who is unquestionably in a position to know, have stated that the Taliban and al-Qaeda are being nurtured, not in some inaccessible terrain along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border but in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's Balochistan province where the Pakistan Army and the ISI have a major presence. Yet, President Bush and his neo-conservative henchmen have remained strangely quiet, allowing Pakistan to strengthen the Taliban in Quetta, and, as a consequence, re-energize al-Qaeda - the killers of thousands of Americans in the fall of 2001.
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