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The Daily Journal: April 16, 2007

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Pakistan, Coddled Enemy

The latest unsurprising announcement from Pakistan’s dictator, Pervez Musharraf: He has “rejected “absolutely and totally” the prospect of joint US-Pakistan military operations to pursue retreating insurgents inside Pakistan. “The whole population of Pakistan will rise against it,” he told CBS news channel in an interview,” reports Pakistan’s Daily Times. “ Pakistan is being maligned by the West unfairly” in criticism that it is not doing enough to root out terrorists on its soil and to help crush the Taliban movement in Afghanistan, he said. He blamed the criticism on a “total lack of understanding of the environment and reality by President Hamid Karzai himself”. Asked if he was “angry” with Karzai, he replied: “Yes, indeed. Very angry.” Musharraf dismissed as “absolute nonsense” a claim by Karzai that Taliban leader Mullah Omar was hiding in Pakistan. “He is in south Afghanistan somewhere. He is not in Pakistan, although President Karzai and everyone keeps saying he is in Quetta - absolute nonsense, absolute total nonsense- he has never been in Pakistan.” […] In response to a question about Al Qaeda leaders remaining “free to operate”, the president said “they are in the mountains and there are people who support them and hide them and these mountains are inaccessible ... even the British never went in.” […] Asked why the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan have not been able to trace terrorists despite sharing intelligence, he said, “We are trying to locate them by all possible means, and we are not being able to - it is as simple as that. They are in the mountains and we do not even know whether they are in Afghanistan or on our side and they keep shifting.”

Way to Respect Your Military

From Army Times: “The timing of the announcement raising the standard length of active Army Iraq deployments to 15 months took the U.S. commanding general in Iraq by surprise, according to a senior U.S. military official here. Army Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the U.S. military operation in Iraq, learned of the change in policy during a briefing from his staff the morning after the Defense Department announcement, according to the senior military official. However, the official added, he was “pretty confident” that the content of the announcement did not come as a shock to Petraeus. [...] The Pentagon was forced to announce the shift, which includes extending the deployment of every active Army unit already in Iraq to 15 months, “a couple of days” earlier than planned because the information had been leaked to the news media, the senior military official said. [...] “That was a snap decision. Everybody was caught behind.”

 

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