ISLAMABAD (Pakistan) - PAKISTAN urged President Barack Obama to halt US missile strikes on al-Qaeda strongholds near the Afghan border, saying on Saturday that civilians were killed the previous day in the first attacks since Mr Obama's inauguration.
Pakistani security officials said eight suspected foreign militants, including an Egyptian al-Qaeda operative, were among 22 people killed in Friday's twin strikes in the Waziristan region.
But the Foreign Ministry said that the attacks by unmanned aircraft also killed an unspecified number of civilians and that it had informed US officials of its 'great concern'.
'With the advent of the new US administration, it is Pakistan's sincere hope that the United States will review its policy and adopt a more holistic and integrated approach toward dealing with the issue of terrorism and extremism,' a ministry statement said.
'We maintain that these attacks are counterproductive and should be discontinued,' it said.
Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president, and General Ashfaq Kayani, the chief of Pakistan's military, met David Petraeus, the US Central Command chief, in Islamabad on Tuesday to discuss ways that the US could assist the country in combating extremism.
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 07:37 PM by kenny blankenship
The situation in Pakistan is much more precarious than generally admitted in US media. The coastal city of Karachi is already partially under the domination of Pakistan's version of the Taliban. (Which means they probably have some form of resupply route over the sea) In certain sections of Karachi they rule the streets. They are the police --with checkpoints and the whole deal, especially after dark. The "Taliban" presence in Karachi is a dagger point at the throat of the country: do the wrong thing and they will push the dagger in. Meanwhile their mountain base, the entire border province of Waziristan, is beyond the reach of the govt. in Islamabad. The tribal people in the hill country don't necessarily view themselves as owing allegiance to the government in the lowlands, which makes for an exploitable division. Throughout history colonialists and insurgents alike have been able to identify and exploit the tension between highlander tribes and the dominant group of the country which tends to live in the flatland near the water. The British found tribes they could "work with" in Malaysia. We exploited tensions like these in Vietnam, Laos, and Nicaragua. In S.E. Asia we exploited the resentments of the Hmong people. In Nicaragua we exploited the resentments of the Miskito tribes. As we all know, the US exploited the same kind of division in Afghanistan, backing tribes in the hills against the Soviet backed government in the flatland. This time the hillbilly vs. flatlanders split is being used against us. Pakistan is much more advanced than Laos or Cambodia were in the 1960s, but like them it's also a country that can't control all of its border territories. Pakistan has deployed as many as 90,000 men into Waziristan and have been pushed out. They have garrison points there but they don't exercise control over the areas in between. To control a large area you need a road network, to move force around, to police the area, and to resupply your garrisons. In Waziristan the road network consists of two highways over which convoys of army trucks can travel. They wind endlessly in mountains and there are 10,000 chances for an ambush. Convoys of 50 men in armored vehicles and trucks disappear in Waziristan never to be seen again. Actually the men turn up frequently, but their heads do not. This places a certain drag on Pakistani military morale. The government has enough on its hands with possible heads of state being assassinated, former heads of state posing a constant coup d'etat danger, and so forth that it doesn't feel strong enough to keep kicking the hornet's nest in Waziristan. They don't want the US coming in, since they do not want to become another Iraq. About the best they can manage is to cordon the area off, which is in its way a backhanded acknowledgment of the real problem. The real problem is that Waziristan like Afghanistan exists in a perpetual dark ages. When you try to change the people living there you just end up killing them, and they kill you.
37. It's entirely conceivable that the Pakistani leadership gave secret approval for the strikes ...
... while expressing dissatisfaction just short of hostile condemnation publicly, in order to keep the political lid on in a nearly autonomous region (tribal area) like Waziristan.
We must always remember that Pakistan, like other countries in the Middle East and South Asia, has borders that reflect a British colonial rule ... borders that helped perpetuate a political instability of the indigenous population which facilitated colonial rule. It's the same ol' "divide and conquer" strategy of old. With the advent of reactive nationalistic inclinations, such a condition serves autocratic interests in opposition to democratic interests. Global corporatism strongly favors autocratic regimes in resource-rich or strategically-located countries. (They're easier to bribe and control.)
A deal was made between the Pakistani government and the US on tuesday. We attacked these targets with their knowledge, possibly based on information they provided, and we are providing them with deniability.
23. this appears to be an attempt to strike out at the resistance to U.S. presence in Afghanistan
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 06:57 PM by bigtree
. . . at the Pakistan border.
The standard practice of the military is to label the individuals they kill from the air as 'militants', in much the same way they initially claim everyone in Iraq they kill is 'insurgent'. But, I'd bet my house that there's absolutely no connection between the claimed targets of these attacks and the perpetrators, or orchestrator of 9-11.
taking heat for quite a while now, with the not so subtle murmurs that he is on his way out. I don't even attempt to discern any truth any more. Body counts is the closest I come to facts, and even those are manipulated.
ISLAMABAD, Jan 24 (KUNA) Pakistan Saturday lodged strong protest with the United States over the latest missile attacks on its territory, which came only days after Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the US. President Asif Ali Zardari met with the US ambassador, Anne Patterson, and strongly condemned the unilateral US missile attacks, official sources told KUNA.
At least twenty people including near ten Arab militants were killed Friday evening in two US missile attacks in South and North Waziristan tribal agencies.
Sources said that the President conveyed Pakistan's concerns to the US regarding unabated missile attacks in the bordering tribal region, which are creating disturbance in other parts of the country as well.
He said only Pakistani forces are allowed to take action against militants in their territory. He hoped that the new US administration will stop the drone attacks.
(end) amn.ajs KUNA 241604 Jan 09NNNN
So do we continue the George Bush NeoCON policies of attacking other countries?
What if another country fired missiles into ours? Would that be ok?
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