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Musharraf pulls out of peace council

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by BrAinPaiNt, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    LINK



    By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 21 minutes ago

    KABUL, Afghanistan - Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf pulled out Wednesday from a council of hundreds of Pakistani and Afghan tribal leaders aimed at reining in militant violence.

    Pakistan's Foreign Office said Musharraf was canceling his trip to Kabul because of "engagements" in Islamabad. Pakistani political analyst Talat Masood said, however, that Musharraf probably was responding to recent U.S. criticism of Pakistan's counterterrorism efforts, which has included suggestions that the U.S. could carry out unilateral military strikes against al-Qaida in Pakistan.

    "He is trying to convey a strong message to the United States. There have been a lot of statements coming out of Washington about violating Pakistan's sovereignty and so on," Masood said.

    A U.S. State Department official said the Bush administration was surprised and dismayed by Musharraf's snub, particularly after Karzai repeatedly expressed satisfaction about the meeting during a joint appearance with President Bush on Monday.

    State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said it was unclear if Musharraf could be persuaded to reconsider.

    "We'll see if President Musharraf is able to attend any portion of the meeting," McCormack said.

    The four-day "peace jirga," due to start Thursday, already is being boycotted by delegates from Pakistan's restive South and North Waziristan regions amid fear of Taliban reprisals.

    The absence of Musharraf, Pakistan's army chief and most powerful figure, could further undermine its effectiveness.

    Pakistan's Foreign Office said that Musharraf had phoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai to say he couldn't attend because of "engagements" in Islamabad, and that Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz would take his place.

    The idea of the jirga emerged from a September 2006 meeting in Washington of President Bush, Karzai and Musharraf that focused on ways to combat rising border violence.

    The Taliban, ousted by U.S.-led forces in late 2001, have stepped up attacks in the past two years. The violence has killed thousands, raising fears for Afghanistan's fledgling democracy. U.S. military and Afghan officials say Taliban militants enjoy a safe haven in Pakistani border regions, particularly Waziristan, where Washington also fears al-Qaida is regrouping.

    The 650 delegates — 350 from Afghanistan, and about 300 from Pakistan — will meet in an oversized tent in Kabul that was used for the 2004 loya jirga that created Afghanistan's post-Taliban constitution. The delegates' main focus will be security and terrorism, but they will also talk about economic development and fighting drugs.

    Taliban representatives are not involved.

    Mohammed Mohaqeq, the No. 2 official for Afghanistan at the jirga, was still optimistic about its prospects because it showed the two governments were cooperating.

    "From the Afghanistan side, all the people who hold power are participating," he said.

    Masood said, however, that Musharraf's cancellation revealed tensions between the neighbors.

    "It shows that the chemistry between Karzai and him (Musharraf) is so poor that he wants to back out at the last minute," he said. "Why call him just hours before the jirga? I don't see why he could not go to Kabul for a few hours."

    Critics also say those who have real control over the violence are Taliban and their supporters in the tribal belt and that talks that do not include them could prove to be futile.

    "This is only a display, which cannot produce the true views of the Afghan people," Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, secretary-general of Pakistan's pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, which runs the government in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan, and is also boycotting.

    Afghanistan's delegates, including tribal leaders, lawmakers, businessmen and clerics, were decided on by a 20-member commission approved by Karzai. Pakistan's government selected its delegations, including senior officials, tribal leaders and journalists.

    One Pakistani delegate, who will not be attending but requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about it to media, said that in all about 100 of Pakistan's 350 delegates are boycotting, including all of the more than 60 Waziristan representatives.

    One elder from South Waziristan, who didn't want to be identified, said he and others would not attend because of threats from Taliban and because of the turmoil on their own doorstep.

    "Pakistan government wants us to go to Kabul, but local Taliban don't want us to do it," he said. "We cannot offend these Taliban because they will kill us if we don't obey them."
  2. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    Interesting...

    Our anti-war candidate in Obama has caused quite a ruckus. Nothing like threatening an ally (not a great one, but an ally nonetheless) with invasion while running for office on a peace campaign...

    Where does he go from here?
  3. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Saying what many are thinking but are smart enough not to say out loud?

    I think it was universally stupid for him to say that out loud in public because of the implications.

    However I doubt that there are many that have not thought about it concerning how Pakistan is doing.

    One thing I will say about what is bound to be a new talking point on certain shows.

    There is being against the war in IRAQ and wanting the troops out of there.

    There is ALSO the idea of still going after OBL in Ahgan and beyond.

    Big difference there. Don't fall into the trap of trying to blur the two for a political talking point.

    Just saying be careful using that idea or talking point, I know it will pop up on some sites and shows, but some will not fall for that.:cool:

    Now this also shows, IMO, that Obama needs more time and exp before taking the big chair.
  4. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that Obama is a real bright one.

    He has no problem about speaking about this hypothetical, but when asked about Barry Bonds and inviting him to the White House - he claims he will cross that bridge when he comes to it. "Let's see if he breaks the record first".

    Seriously - Ron Paul ya'll.
  5. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    :laugh2: :laugh2: :bow:

    He is not ready now...But I think he will be a force to deal with in the future.

    On a side note, you are not trying to start, or perpetuate an existing, motto for Paul with...Ron Paul Ya'll are you?
  6. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    "Ron Paul Yall" is already huge in the south. Sounds like one word when they say it.
  7. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Don't ruin Paul for me...Please.

    I don't know if I could stand hearing that over and over.:D
  8. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    Ron Paul hs a big tent - you will find far worse things if you look hard enough.
  9. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Does his big ten have a bunch of rugs and pillows?
    Are there harem girls dancing around?

    :p:

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