Subsequent to posting the item about Parvez Musharaff , (below) Lord Patel's attention has been directed to a fascinating article in the Times of India "US set to cut deal with Taliban" by Chidanand Rajghatta
The article claims that the Bush administration is seriously considering bringing the Taliban back into the power in Afghanistan.
They claim the tacit US approval of Pakistan’s agreement with Taliban in the Waziristan province, which was heavily criticised in strategic circles as a sell-out ...but wildly praised by UK Foreign Office Minister responsible for Afghanistan, David "Rentagob" Howell was the start of a policy change.
President Bush is subsequently said to have persuaded Afghan President Hamid Karzai, to 'wait and see' how the Pakistani deal works.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, fresh from a visit last week..."Taliban fighters were too numerous and too popular" to be defeated " his reported saying, has said the Bush administration should bring the Taliban back into a more transparent type of government... And if that's accomplished, we'll be successful."
Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi shouted, "Senator Frist now suggests that the best way forward in Afghanistan is to coddle the Taliban by welcoming Taliban members into a coalition government, as if 9/11 had never happened." Remember it was Democrat Clintonan who first bombed the Taliban (admittedly when he was feeling the heat over the Lewinsky brouhaha) and brought to an abrupt end the planning (with the Taliban Gubment) for a Unocal trans Afghanistan Asia / India pipeline.
The article also refers to the PBS doucmentary Return of the Taliban, screened last week in the US, showing Musharraf's army continued to patronize militants and he had essentially cut a deal with the Taliban in Waziristan after being humiliated by al Qaeda.
The documentary called Pakistan "a failed state... a Taliban sanctuary that had facilitated the return of al-Qaeda."
Apparently the cocky dictator was reduced to shouting "If Pakistan isn't doing more, who the hell is doing more?"
The fillum was dedicated to Hayatullah Khan a reporter who obtained proof that US forces had killed rebel leader, 27 year old Nek Mohammed in a Predator attack inside Pakistan. This was denied by the US and Islamabad as the US cannot act inside Pakistan and Pakistani forces had killed him. (BBC pic of Mohammed) At the time the BBC reported ...
BBC correspondent in Islamabad, Paul Anderson, says there is some confusion as to how Mohammed was killed.Khan worked for the English-language daily newspaper "The Nation", the Urdu-language daily newspaper "Ausaf" and the European Press-Photo Agency, as well as being the General Secretary of the Tribal Union of Journalists, a union of journalists working in the tribal areas of Pakistan, close to the Afghanistan border.
Some reports say an army mortar was fired at a hideout near South Waziristan's main town of Wana.
Others say the missile came from an unmanned drone flying overhead.
According to Khan's family, an embarrassed Pakistani establishment subsequently kidnapped Khan in December 2005 and killed him. He was found with five bullet wounds on his body, hands tied with government issued handcuffs.
STRAWS IN THE WIND
Republican Senator John Warner, chairman of the Armed Services Committee,after a trip to Iraq, said the situation in Iraq was “drifting sideways,” on Friday....