January 8, 2008


US wants Pakistan to bite the bullet (Syed Saleem Shahzad, 1/09/08, Asia Times)

[W]hile Pakistan wants to remain on side with the US, and the West, by taking appropriate action against militancy, this carries with it the grave danger of exacerbating the situation, and opening up the country to further terror.

A senior Pakistani security official elaborated for Asia Times Online, "We have actually been thrown into a deep quagmire where we are not left with many options. The CIA's presence in Pakistan has made it impossible for Pakistan to handle the Taliban problem independently and through dialogue. On the other hand, there is no military solution on the horizon against the Taliban and another [Pakistani army] operation against militants would cause more than serious repercussions."

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity as his job does not allow him to speak on the record, continued, "Now we are at a crossroad and we feel threatened that if this problem escalates it may give Western powers and their regional allies a chance to justify an attack on Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. Therefore, we are walking a tightrope where, on the one hand our strategic ties with the West are at risk if we don't adhere to their demands, but on the other hand our own internal security is at risk.

"Nevertheless," he added, "nations do take steps on a priority basis for their internal security."

The minimum required of Pakistan is that it exercise sovereignty over the Tribal Areas and surrender its nukes.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 8, 2008 12:11 PM
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