NEWS: U.S. considers military solution for Pakistan’s political crisis

U.S. considers enlisting tribes in Pakistan to fight al Qaeda

A new and classified American military proposal outlines an intensified effort to enlist tribal leaders in the frontier areas of Pakistan in the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, as part of a broader effort to bolster Pakistani forces against an expanding militancy, American military officials said.

If adopted, the proposal would join elements of a shift in strategy that would also be likely to expand the presence of American military trainers in Pakistan, directly finance a separate tribal paramilitary force that until now has proved largely ineffective and pay militias that agree to fight Al Qaeda and foreign extremists, officials said. The United States now has only about 50 troops in Pakistan, a Pentagon spokesman said, a force that could grow by dozens under the new approach.

The new proposal is modeled in part on a similar effort by American forces in Anbar Province in Iraq that has been hailed as a great success in fighting foreign insurgents there. But it raises the question of whether such partnerships can be forged without a significant American military presence on the ground in Pakistan. And it is unclear whether enough support can be found among the tribes. [complete article]

Musharraf rejects U.S. pressure to lift emergency rule

President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday rebuffed pressure from a senior U.S. envoy to revoke emergency rule under the country’s current security situation, envoys said.

In a tense two-hour meeting, Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte delivered a “very strong message” urging Musharraf to end the state of emergency, step down as head of the military and release of thousands of political prisoners.

“Emergency rule is not compatible with free, fair and credible elections,” Negroponte said at a news conference Sunday morning, referring to parliamentary elections set for early January. “The people of Pakistan deserve an opportunity to choose their leaders free from the restrictions that exist under a state of emergency.”

A diplomat characterized the meeting as “short of tough love, but still tough.” [complete article]

Musharraf widens his sphere of punishment

Two weeks into the crisis that began when Musharraf purged the judiciary, muzzled the media and clamped down on politicians who opposed his re-election, the full details of what the ‘state of emergency’ entails are emerging as human rights groups in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore collect testimonies.

Retribution is being meted out on a massive scale and Pakistan’s powerful gossip mill has attributed a particular motive to Musharraf’s thinking – his aim is to ‘teach a lesson’ to those who have dared object to his belief that only he can save his country. The aim of the state of emergency has been largely to humiliate the opposition. [complete article]

See also, U.S. aims to reshape Pakistan aid (LAT), Pakistan court bulldozes through rulings for Musharraf (Reuters), and Threat to strip Benazir Bhutto of amnesty (The Sunday Times).

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1 thought on “NEWS: U.S. considers military solution for Pakistan’s political crisis

  1. Marie McDermott

    “A new and classified American military proposal outlines ” I need read no further without the obvious glaring question: Why am I reading about a classified military objective that is being considered by our Commanders on the ground readily available in a national news publication? The answer is obious and in my next remarks. I am severely concerned with the irresposibility and callous disregard for the welfare of our troops demonstrated by the New York Times printing this article. My son’s life and the lives of men and women fighting terror in Afghanistan are endangered as a direct result of your blind political bias and ambition. Why am I reading this? Because the writers and editors and owners of the New York Times have no children’s whose lives are at risk as a result of their wanton recklessness. Should the blood of America’s brightest and best be spilt as a result, it will be laid at your feet.

    May God Have Mercy on You

    Marie McDermott

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