Quietly behind the scenes, and out of the western media spotlight, Pakistan is steadily traveling the yellow brick road to rogue and defiant ally-in-name-and-money-only status... content just to silence bombs in their back yard while allowing Taliban/AQ and fellow ilk militants to ping pong back and forth across the Afghanistan border at will.
Two deals were cemented over the past month, involving exchanging of prisoners and, in theory, either exiling or handing over foreign militants. However S. Waziristan Taliban leaders have made it abundantly clear that they have no intentions of halting their jihad battles on Afghan soil.
“First, we will not accept such a ban. But we hope the peace deal will be inked without a clause that puts restrictions on mujahideen to cross the border (into Afghanistan),” Abu Zakwan, Taliban commander in the Kotkai area of South Waziristan, told Daily Times on Saturday. Using the alias of Abu Zakwan, the commander said that government negotiators are asking for a pledge to stop cross-border attacks, but the Taliban were not committing to such an agreement.
Jihad centre: He said Waziristan was serving the region as “centre for jihad” and people from across the country were being trained for holy war “against the United States”.
Meanship Nawaz Sharif continues his pressure on PPP's Zardari to not only oust Musharraf, but calls for trials for sedition. In today's Khaleej Times, he suggests that Zardari's party has agreed to expel Musharraf from the Presidency. Thus far, there has been no comment or confirmation from the PPP representative, nor PM Gilani.
One can safely say that Pakistan's efforts to curb jihad violence may offer temporary benefits for them... however making deals while they continue to foster jihad against the US doesn't benefit us, or the war on Islamic jihad movements, one bit. This would be the same US/Uncle Sam who's shelled out incentive cash, hand over fist, to Pakistan. And now, to add insult to injury, we're about to lose the rare military general ballsy enough to give a silent nod to US operations over Pakistan soil, and incur/endure the wrath of his country.
Pakistan, however, sees Obama with his incentive packages and "talk nice" coming. They have their hands already outstretched, whining that their anti-terror efforts on the behalf of the US costs twice what the US pays in the Coalition Support Fund.
A US Government Accountability Office report issued last week said that of $5.8 billion in US support for anti-terrorism efforts in the Fata between 2002 and 2007, about 96 per cent had gone towards reimbursing the Pakistani military, three per cent on border security and one per cent on development aid projects.
Talking to Dawn, sources said the $5.8 billion Pakistan received from the CSF was reimbursement of what the country had already spent.
“It is not easy to deploy 100,000 troops in a troubled area,” said one diplomatic source. “Look, how the Americans are spending billions of dollars on maintaining troops in Iraq. If the Americans feel that the Iraq war is draining their resources, imagine how it affects Pakistan.”
There is a smidgen of validity in that argument, of which they will have no problems in convincing a naive POTUS Obama that smidgen is much larger in US dollars. Tho many tribal elders may not seek war against the US or the west, they do harbor and benefit from those who do. However Pakistan's internal battles did not begin with America's more prominent presence in the Middle East. Nor will they end when we withdraw and come home. Jihad was there before we came, and will always be there.
Come the era of a possible President Obama in the WH, there are very different positions on the ME political chess board now. NATO falters in Afghanistan, and NATO alliance countries refuse to pony up the needed troops. Iraqis and US forces in Iraq are making headway, but live under the threat of having their progress reversed the moment a DNC leader takes the oath of office. Lebanon is morphing before our very eyes, with the Hezbollah shadow puppet government becoming more powerful with their legislative veto powers just acquired. Last year, Iran has no nuke program via an NIE - a report Obama buys hook, line and sinker. But today even the IAEA is concerned. Still the int'l community that makes up the corrupt and anti-semite UN, dances around significant action. And Obama will make sure US actions are blessed by the corrupt before implementing.
Pakistan, already proving the appeasement path benefits only their own backyard, and that terrorists will not budge on the bigger battle of training jihad, will be perhaps the next President's biggest problem. A President Obama will make nice, pass over more cash, and terrorists and dictators will continue to smile.
Fasten your seat belts, because we're in for a bumpy ride...