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Latest Pakistan Items
My last column likened the desperate conditions in the Greater Middle East and South Asia to the summer of 1914 and the onset of World War I — but in slow motion. Despite the naive and unhelpful comments of several presidential aspirants who say they would consider using nuclear weapons to attack al Qaeda in friendly states or take out Islam's holiest shrines, a meeting last week in the Gulf could reverse these dangerous trends in Pakistan. That glimmer of optimism rests in the discussions between Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto over her return from exile in a power-sharing arrangement.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — President Pervez Musharraf said yesterday that talk of U.S. military strikes against al Qaeda in Pakistan only hurts the fight against terrorism, and his troops bombarded militant hide-outs in their strongest response yet to a month of anti-government attacks. Ten suspected militants were killed.
Harlan Ulllman's column on this page today provides an exclusive interview with former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Pakistan's location places it at the intersection of the war on terror and fundamentalist extremism. Its possession of nuclear weapons as a deterrent to India makes Pakistan potentially the most dangerous state on the globe if radical Islamists were to seize power. President Pervez Musharraf is under growing pressure externally to do more on the war on terror and internally to return to promised democratic rule. Discussions last week between Gen. Musharraf and Mrs. Bhutto could pave the way for him to solve those dilemmas by inviting the former prime minister back and assigning her some of the responsibilities for both tasks.
ISTANBUL, Turkey. -- Evangelical Christians helped President Bush win the White House twice and in return, the president set up an Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in 2001 to help religious groups compete with secular organizations for federal grants to provide social services. The Freedom From Religion Foundation sued the White House-sponsored initiative, but on July 25, the Supreme Court decided that it breaks no laws, allowing the White House to continue advocating on behalf of faith-based charities. There is a debate about whether this effectively dwindles the separation of church and state, and whether the Bush-appointed judges are allowing religion to guide their decision-making.
THURMONT, Md. — President Bush said yesterday that the United States and Pakistan, if armed with "actionable intelligence," could take out al Qaeda leaders, but he did not say whether he would ask permission from the Pakistani president before sending U.S. troops into that nation.
MIRAN SHAH, Pakistan (AP) Government forces attacked two militant bases with helicopter gunships and artillery today in some of the army's toughest action in the lawless Afghan border region since militant attacks began surging last month.
Steadily increasing opium production is an impediment to Afghanistan's stability and security, and so it was important that President Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai addressed the issue at Camp David. The Taliban has become more effective at profiting from the Afghan poppy crop and is using the opium industry to fuel its resurgence. The challenge for both governments is to make sure that counternarcotics and security efforts reinforce — not undermine — one another.
Within the last several weeks, Democratic presidential aspirant Barack Obama has announced he would meet with America's enemies and attack America's friends. Those interested in a dramatic departure from Bush-Cheney need look no further.
(AP) — President Bush said today that with the right intelligence U.S. and Pakistan governments can take out al Qaeda leaders, and wouldn't say whether he would consult first with Pakistan before ordering U.S. forces to act on their own.