- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
Pakistan prepares to act along Afghan border
Question of the Day
Pakistani security forces are preparing a string of actions in the coming days to follow up on the operation launched last week against a top Islamist militant near the northwestern city of Peshawar, Pakistani Ambassador to the United StatesHusain Haqqani said in an interview Monday.
The envoy, appointed shortly after a new democratic coalition won Pakistan’s February parliamentary elections, said the operations along the troubled border with Afghanistan were designed to “send a message” about the new government’s commitment to work with Afghanistan and NATO forces to crush terrorist havens inside the country.
“There are going to be several such actions in the next few days,” Mr. Haqqani told reporters and editors at The Washington Times. He declined to elaborate, citing security concerns.
U.S. and Afghan officials have criticized Pakistan’s commitment in the past to hunt down Taliban and al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden, believed to have taken refuge in largely ungoverned tribal areas that straddle the border.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said last week the flow of fighters into Afghanistan remained “clearly a concern.” Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher, who arrived in Islamabad on Monday for three days of meetings, told a Senate hearing last week that previous Pakistani agreements to work with local tribal leaders to curb the militants had not worked.
New Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Army Chief of Staff Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani on June 25 endorsed yet another action plan to deal with extremists on the border, a mix of negotiations with some militant leaders and military actions against others.
Mr. Haqqani said the new plan would have far greater legitimacy and effectiveness because it had been drafted and approved by the newly elected government.
He said the first strike, launched in the Khyber tribal area Saturday, had achieved its “basic objective” by destroying bases and safe houses belonging to Taliban-allied militant leader Mangal Bagh in the village of Bara, about 10 miles outside Peshawar. The militant leader was not caught.
“The message is, ‘This is going to happen to anyone who tries to do this kind of thing,’” said the ambassador. “The Pakistani military has been given the job and task of ensuring that there will be no flow of Taliban fighters from Pakistan into Afghanistan.”
Mr. Haqqani, a former scholar and journalist well known in Washington’s think-tank community, acknowledged that some in Pakistan in the past had urged targeting only terrorist groups that attacked the state, while tolerating or ignoring the problem of cross-border flows of fighters, weapons and equipment into Afghanistan.
That, he said, has changed.
“The view of the elected government, of the leadership that was voted into office in February, is that the security of Afghanistan and Pakistan are interconnected, that the [old view] was a narrow view,” he said. “We have to do it together. We are partners — Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States.”
Mr. Haqqani also faulted aspects of U.S. policy toward Pakistan in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks, saying there has been a “complete failure” of American public diplomacy in Pakistan and the Muslim world to define the objectives of the global war on terror.
He said U.S. diplomats need to get out more among the Pakistani people and the American press often presents a shallow and distorted view of Islam.
About the Author
Raised in Northern Virginia, David R. Sands received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He worked as a reporter for several Washington-area business publications before joining The Washington Times.
At The Times, Mr. Sands has covered numerous beats, including international trade, banking, politics ...
- SANDS: Shark attack: Miami wins first U.S. Chess League title
- SANDS: Magnus Carlsen's future bright as the new king of chess
- Norway's Magnus Carlsen wins world chess title
- Magnus Carlsen on verge of world chess title with quick win over champion
- SANDS: Carlsen close to chess title as Anand cracks under endgame pressure
Latest Blog Entries
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Colorado judge: Bakery owner discriminated against gay couple
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- KUHNER: Who betrayed Navy SEAL Team 6?
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!