Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Mucking The World (Un)Safe For Democracy

Afghan-Pakistani Relations Deteriorating

Associated Press Writer

March 7, 2006, 8:34 AM EST

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A rift between Afghanistan and Pakistan deepened Tuesday as Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office said intelligence about Taliban and al-Qaida fugitives allegedly hiding in Pakistan was "very strong and accurate."

Karzai's spokesman Karim Rahimi said his government will present Islamabad with further intelligence about the militants' whereabouts and that it was "hopeful that measures will be taken" against them.

Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan -- key allies of Washington in its war on terror -- have deteriorated sharply since Karzai gave Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf last month a list of Taliban and al-Qaida fugitives he said were hiding in Pakistan.

Afghan and Pakistani officials told The Associated Press the list included Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar and top associates, and that Afghanistan also shared the locations of alleged terrorist training camps.

[...]Pakistan has accused Afghanistan of leaking the list to the media because Kabul did not trust Islamabad to act on it. "The bad-mouthing against Pakistan is a deliberate, articulated conspiracy," Musharraf was quoted as saying Monday by the state-run news agency, Associated Press of Pakistan.

Musharraf said nobody should question his commitment to fight terrorism and that his security forces have captured terrorists and will continue to do so. He added that he discussed the matter with President Bush during Bush's visit last week to Islamabad.
Well, now, this is an interesting predicament, wouldn't you say?

Whom would you support, Pakistan, the country that has publicly vowed to assist you in capturing terrorists, and who has risked the life of its President to turn over key intelligence and captives, or Afghanistan, a country you pounded into submission, and installed a puppet government?

"Sibling rivalry" leaps to mind, however this isn't a case where we're talking about a few toys misplaced. Pakistan has nukes. Afghanistan is destablizing as we watch, with remnants of the Taliban gathering strength in the hills of Afghanipakistan.

We seem to be making friends wherever we go, don't we? I know the PNAC objective was to destablize the Middle East, allowing us to force march freedom down the throats of the "Ayrabs" there, but this is getting a little silly. Afghanistan and Pakistan were strong allies during the reign of the Taliban (and it's no secret that the Taliban is a Pakistani-sponsored regime), but even prior to that, any friction between the two peoples was centered on the fact that Afghanistan was a buffer between the British and Soviet empires in the region. Both nations are so poor that it was useless for them to have any outward conflicts (save some water rights issues on transnational rivers, understandable in this region.)

Chalk another potential war to the Bush administration.

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