Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Safe Haven Redux
I'd suspected that the Pakistani air and ground raids against Taliban bases in North Waziristan had something to do with the recently resolved negotiations between President Pervez Musharraf and exiled former-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto that secured his re-election as president in return for her safe return to Pakistan for parliamentary elections later this year. But if this article in Asia Times Online is any indication, in assuming the campaign was Musharraf's way of showing up Bhutto, who recently declared that she'd be willing to let American forces take care of the Pakistani badlands, I was putting the cart before the horse.
According to the article, the deal between the two was pushed through by Washington in order to keep the volatile political situation from delaying Pakistani military action against a massive Taliban force poised to infiltrate the Afghanistan border. So in case you were wondering just what the billions of dollars of aid we're pouring into Pakistan were buying us, this is what it boils down to: Musharraf plays ball with Bhutto -- who despite numerous outstanding corruption charges against her represents Pakistani democracy -- and gets tough on the Taliban.