Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pakistan's New Face, Same Old Double Talk

Instead of President Pervez Musharraf, it was Pakistan's new Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani this week posing in the White House, asking for more military handouts and flimflamming the Bush Administration about his country's efforts to root out terrorists across the Afghanistan border.

As American casualties and frustration mount, the New York Times reports, a top CIA official this month confronted senior Pakistan officials with new evidence about ties between the country’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and militants in the country’s tribal areas "responsible for a surge of violence in Afghanistan."

But here is the Prime Minister on PBS' News Hour, insisting that ISI is "a great institution" and such claims are "not believable...because the ISI is directly working under the prime minister."

So much for that, but Gilani is complaining that his country needs advance notice so that his people can deal with terrorists rather finding out after the fact about this week's US missile strike on a border outpost that killed six foreign fighters, one of them believed to be a top al Qaeda operative.

"We believe in sovereignty of the country," he huffed. "And naturally, nobody likes it."

What might calm him, the Prime Minister indicated, would be a gift of Predator drones and FM radio systems to jam the terrorists' communications.

One of the first jobs of the new President in January will be to sort out this Pakistani shell game that has been costing us American lives and billions in wasted military aid since 9/11.

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