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US Bombs Pakistan

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  • World View <ummyakoub@yahoo.com>
    US bombs Madressah near border BAGRAM, Dec 31: A US warplane bombed an abandoned religious school in the Pakistani territory after a gunbattle between the US
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 1, 2003
      US bombs Madressah near border

      BAGRAM, Dec 31: A US warplane bombed an abandoned religious school
      in the Pakistani territory after a gunbattle between the US and
      Pakistani troops on the border with Afghanistan, Pakistan officials
      said on Tuesday.

      The US military said that one of its soldiers was wounded in
      Afghanistan on Sunday in an exchange of gunfire with a Pakistani
      border guard. A Pakistani official said two border guards were also

      The wounded American was part of a unit conducting a mission with
      the Pakistani forces along the Afghan border when a disagreement
      appeared to break out, according to a statement released by the US
      military at their Afghan headquarters at Bagram air base.

      "A Pakistani border scout opened fire with a G3 rifle after the US
      patrol asked him to return to the Pakistan side of the border," the
      statement said. "That individual and several others retreated to a
      nearby structure," it added. "Close air support was requested and a
      500-lb bomb was dropped on the target area."

      Mohammad Khurshied, a local official in the South Waziristan tribal
      area, later told Reuters that a seminary in Angor Adda had been hit
      by the US warplanes.

      Islamabad-Washington relations on a slippery slope

      By Anwar Iqbal

      WASHINGTON, Dec 30: In the year 2002, Pakistan's image in the United
      States went through a drastic change. When the year began, Pakistan
      was one of America's closest allies in the war against terror.

      And now that the year nears end, it has been placed on a list of
      states whose citizens are considered a security threat to the United

      From Jan 13, Pakistanis living in the United States will have to
      register with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. They will
      be interviewed, photographed and fingerprinted. During the
      interview, they will be asked about their political affiliations,
      religious leanings and family connections. Those considered
      suspicious can be arrested, deported and be barred from visiting the
      United States.

      Pakistan's relations with the United States are once again passing
      through a defining phase. The next few months will unravel whether
      Pakistan remains an American ally or is again pushed out of
      Washington's circle of friends.

      A close US ally during the Cold War, Pakistan first lost its
      strategic importance as a key outpost against communism after the
      Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989.

      The Sept 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, however, brought Pakistan back
      on the central stage. Asked to join the US-led war against
      terrorism, Pakistan dumped its former Taliban allies and came over
      to the Americans, providing military bases to US troops for
      operations into Afghanistan.

      But this has never been a comfortable relationship. The Pakistanis
      have been concerned that once this war is over, the Americans will
      abandon them again. The Americans fear that as religious sentiments
      grow, extremists may take over this country of 140 million Muslims.

      Such a take-over looks particularly menacing to the Americans
      because Pakistan is the only Muslim country with nuclear weapons.
      There are people in Washington who say that a religious government
      in Islamabad might hand over its nuclear weapons to the extremists
      for threatening the West.

      There are also apprehensions that as religious sentiments grow,
      Pakistan will become increasingly ineffective in the war against

      The emergence of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal as a strong force in the
      Oct 10 elections has further increased Washington's fears. MMA runs
      the NWFP and also is a ruling partner in Balochistan, the two
      provinces where US officials believe a large number of Al Qaeda and
      Taliban fighters fled to after the collapse of the Taliban regime in
      Afghanistan in December, 2001.

      The Americans have their troops and intelligence agents in both the
      provinces and are pursuing the Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters with
      the help of Pakistan army. Although it is the central government in
      Islamabad that decides who Pakistan supports in this war, some in
      Washington believe the provincial government can create problems if
      it wants to do so. After all, they argue, it is the provincial
      government that controls police.

      Education also is a provincial subject. This means that the
      Americans may not be able to implement their plan to reform the
      madrasahs, a key element in their strategy to fight terrorism.

      America's fears aside, Pakistan also failed to diversify its
      relations with the United States. Unfortunately, it remains a one-
      issue relationship. Pakistan is America's friend because Washington
      needs Islamabad's assistance to fight terrorists.

      As America's focus moves to Iraq, the only issue that ties Pakistan
      to the United States is also beginning to lose its charm.

      So far efforts to expand this relationship to other areas have not
      been very fruitful.

      Pakistan's attempt to become a major exporter of textiles to the
      United States is resisted by the powerful textile lobby in the
      American South. Instead, its American allies have urged Pakistan to
      diversify its exports but one year is too short a time to do so.

      Similarly, the Bush administration's efforts to encourage American
      businessmen to invest in Pakistan have not been very fruitful
      either. Pakistan may be a key US ally, but it still is a country
      with a dismal law-and-order record. And businessmen, American or
      others, are always reluctant to invest their money in a country
      where they do not feel safe.

      There are people in the media, Congress and the Bush administration
      who say that Pakistan is fast losing its usefulness as an ally. The
      media are questioning Pakistan's commitment to fight terrorism. A
      congressman is moving a bill in the House of Representatives, urging
      it to impose sanctions on Pakistan for allegedly providing nuclear
      assistance to North Korea. He claims that 30 other congressmen also
      support his move.

      External pressure is also having an impact. Russian President
      Vladimir Putin's recent statement that Pakistan is not capable of
      protecting its nuclear weapons also has hurt Islamabad.

      Putin's statement came at a time when the American press was already
      blaming Pakistan for sharing nuclear technology with North Korea in
      return for Korean missiles. And Pakistan's denials have not
      suppressed such speculations.

      Widespread anti-American sentiments in Pakistan and attacks on
      Christian installations are not helping either. Pakistani Americans
      often complain that there seems to be no realization in Pakistan
      that its uneven friendship with the world's sole superpower is
      passing through a critical stage.

      What Islamabad faces in Washington now are the new realities of a
      changing relationship. Reports in the US news media often say that
      people within the Pakistani government, particularly the military
      intelligence, still sympathize with the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
      Pakistan's routine denials are not always quoted.

      While the State Department says that there are no religious
      extremists in the new government in Pakistan, newspapers and
      television channels never tire of pointing out that MMA controls a
      key northern province and can force the fragile central government
      to share power with it in Islamabad as well.

      Since September this year, when the New York Times first reported
      alleged nuclear links between Pakistan and North Korea, the attacks
      on Pakistan have increased. It is often called the regional hub for
      terrorism and a major source of heroin smuggled to the West.




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    • World View
      US copter attack in Waziristan kills 5 ... By Pazir Gul MIRAMSHAH (North Waziristan), May 22: Five tribesmen were killed in an attack by US helicopters in the
      Message 2 of 2 , May 24 11:38 AM
        US copter attack in Waziristan kills 5
        By Pazir Gul
        MIRAMSHAH (North Waziristan), May 22: Five tribesmen were killed in an
        attack by US helicopters in the Lawara Mandai area of the North
        Waziristan agency on Saturday night, officials said.

        Another 20 shells fired by the coalition forces from Afghanistan's
        Paktika province landed near Lawara Mandai, but did not cause any
        damage, eyewitnesses said..............




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