WASHINGTON - Pakistan, the United States' premier ally in the "war on terrorism", has laid down the agenda for the Bush administration for the next four years on what it expects in exchange for continued cooperation to hunt down al-Qaeda.
On the menu is a slew of demands, ranging from continued economic aid to a generous flow of weapons. But above all is the expectation of a long-term relationship, especially in light of what Washington is building with India under the title of the "Next Steps in Strategic Partnership".
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But what was noted by observers was the language he used to deliver the message. He sounded more like a teacher telling a pupil the level of performance he expected from the Americans, said diplomatic observers. He seemed to be drawing a clear parallel between payment and delivery, which led to questions whether the changes in policy that Pakistan has pursued post-September 11, 2001, have been made because they are good for Pakistan, or because they bring US arms and aid.
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Even though the Bush administration has embraced Pakistan as a key and indispensable ally in its "war on terrorism" and publicly defended Musharraf on every issue - from the Khan affair to the re-emergence of the Taliban to his refusal to relinquish his post as army chief as promised - the US media and many congressmen and senators have repeatedly raised questions about Pakistan's commitment to the United States. Editorials in respected newspapers have questioned the reliability of Pakistan as an ally, and whether the US is giving Musharraf a pass despite the many problems.
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From Asia Times.
We have to give the little cutthroat a pass, or he'll give bin Laden the run of the country. Or at least he can threaten that eventuality. See, the problem with Bush's foreign policy is that the Devil is holding too many of his markers. Musharraf is calling his in now. I mean, you didn't think Musharraf went along out of the goodness of his heart,did you? Wonder what more the Saudis will get out of Ol' Dubya since the Pakistanis appear to be able to dictate terms to him. In light of bin Laden's new threats against the Saudi regime, and the resultant effects:
Saudi security forces say they have killed seven suspected militants connected to two car bomb attacks in the capital Riyadh. The Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television station said the seven were suspected of involvement in the bombings against the interior ministry and a security forces camp which left several people wounded. Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, has been battling a wave of al Qaeda-linked violence.
We might be propping up the Oil Kings against their own people in the near future. If the Saudi street begins to rise up, it won't be long before our troops will be sent to support them. Hey, it's the 'War on Terror', right? Gotta mortgage the nation and squander the lives of its children. Fucking inept simpletons. We're being played and Chimpy Inc. is too stupid to notice.