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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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Taliban and Pakistan

Things seem to be going forward instead of the stalemate we have seen,

By Sky News SkyNews - Tuesday, September 2 12:16 pm

Pakistan's army claims to have routed Taliban militants in a stronghold near the Afghan border but found no sign of Osama bin Laden or al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al Zawahiri.

The government ordered a halt to the operation to allow some of the 300,000 families who fled airstrikes and combat in the Bajur region to return home for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

US officials had stepped up calls for Pakistan to put more pressure on militants using bases in its remote tribal areas to mount cross-border attacks also on Nato and government troops in Afghanistan.

Some analysts have warned that the pause in the weeks-long Bajur operation would only allow the militants to regroup.

But Pakistani officials said their forces had killed some 560 Pakistani and foreign fighters and thwarted a push to make Bajur into a militant fortress.

Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said about 20 members of the security forces died and 30 were missing.

"In our view, the back has been broken. Main leaders are on the run and the people of the area are now openly defying whatever the militants had achieved there."

Officials including former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf have mentioned Bajur as a possible hiding place for Bin Laden or Zawahiri.

Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik said authorities also received a report that Zawahiri's wife had been in the neighboring tribal region of Mohmand.

Pakistani forces stormed the location but didn't find the couple, he said.


People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf - George Orwell
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 08:00 AM
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Pakistan's Next President Is a Category 5 Disaster

If there's a case to be made against democracy, few countries make it better than Pakistan.

On Saturday, Pakistani legislators will elect a new president to replace Pervez Musharraf, the general-turned-strongman who resigned the office last month.

In one corner there is Mushahid Hussain Sayed, a former journalist and one-time political prisoner of Mr. Musharraf who is nonetheless running as the candidate of the general's old party. Mr. Mushahid, probably the best of the bunch, stands next to no chance of winning.

In another corner there is Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui, candidate of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's party. Mr. Sharif -- whose record includes bankrupting his country, presiding over a disastrous military campaign against India, and attempting to implement Sharia law while awarding himself near-dictatorial powers -- has made it clear he intends to gut the powers of the presidency should he return to office.

And then there is Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and leader of the Pakistan People's Party. Mr. Zardari, who has compared himself to Jesus (an innocent accused of crimes he did not commit), is easily one of the most notorious figures in the long parade of horribles that make up the country's political history. He is, of course, expected to win Saturday's ballot handily.

Just how bad is Mr. Zardari? It would be a relief if it were true that he was merely suffering from dementia, a diagnosis offered by two New York psychiatrists last year. But that diagnosis seems to have been produced mainly with a view toward defending himself against corruption charges in a British court.

Mr. Zardari -- who earned the moniker "Mr. 10%" for allegedly demanding kickbacks during his wife's two terms in office -- has long been dogged by accusations of corruption. In 2003, a Swiss magistrate found him and Mrs. Bhutto guilty of laundering $10 million. Mr. Zardari has admitted to owning a 355-acre estate near London, despite coming from a family of relatively modest means and reporting little income at the time it was purchased. A 1998 report by the New York Times's John Burns suggests he may have made off with as much as $1.5 billion in kickbacks. This was at a time when his wife was piously claiming to represent the interests of Pakistan's impoverished masses and denouncing corrupt leaders who "leave the cupboard bare." ...

Global View - WSJ.com

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 08:15 AM
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^^^^In these kinds of countries, the President's families and the ministers involved look at it as their god given right, not a perk but their right, fullstop...............
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Jakarta Expat View Post
^^^^In these kinds of countries, the President's families and the ministers involved look at it as their god given right, not a perk but their right, fullstop...............
It is not just in those types of countries. The same thing happens in US cities on a regular basis. Atlanta is one example. Then there is Mfume Kirkpatrik as another.
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