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Wednesday, October 31, 2007
By Joby Warrick
Five years ago, elite Pakistani troops stationed near the border with Afghanistan began receiving hundreds of pairs of U.S.-made night-vision goggles that would enable them to see and fight al-Qaeda and Taliban insurgents in the dark. The sophisticated goggles, supplied by the Bush administration... (The Washington Post)
Friday, October 26, 2007
HERE'S AN IDEA for those members of a federal panel worried about what's being taught at a Saudi-supported school in Fairfax County. Give the academy a call and ask to take a look at the disputed works. That's what a Fairfax supervisor did, and school officials, without hesitation, opened their d... (The Washington Post)
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Responding to The Washington Post’s questions on foreign policy, senior Senator from Delaware and candidate for presidential nomination of the Democratic party, Joe Biden commented, “I'm a hell of a lot more worried about Pakistan" and added "I wish we'd pay as much attention to Pakistan as the saber rattling we're doing with Iran." His concern emanates from the fact that Pakistan already has nuclear weapons while Iran is still working on them.
Senator Biden is the second Democrat presidential candidate in this race who issued a statement regarding Pakistan’s ability to handle security related issues. Earlier, Senator Barak Obama had said that if elected as President of the United States he might order strikes inside Pakistan unilaterally.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Materials Missing At Library Of Congress
By James V. Grimaldi and Jacqueline Trescott
About one-sixth of the books, monographs and bound periodicals at the Library of Congress weren't where they were supposed to be because of flaws in the systems for shelving and retrieving materials, according to a survey to be made public at a congressional hearing today.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
INTERNATIONAL / ASIA PACIFIC October 21, 2007 News Analysis: In Pakistan Quandary, U.S. Reviews Stance By DAVID E. SANGER and DAVID ROHDE A political meltdown in Pakistan, where Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and nuclear weapons are all in play, could be a disaster for the Bush administration.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Mind Your Mobile Manners
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Pakistan's Tainted Election
Gen. Pervez Musharraf is likely to be reelected as president today; whether he can maintain power is another question.
Saturday, October 6, 2007; Page A20
GEN. PERVEZ Musharraf will almost certainly succeed in orchestrating his "reelection" today as president of Pakistan -- but it will be an ugly victory. The national Parliament and provincial legislatures that will convene as an electoral college have little legitimacy, because they were chosen in rigged elections four years ago. In a genuine democratic election, Mr. Musharraf would have no chance of extending his eight years in power, which began with a military coup. Already tainted, the general's mandate will also be tenuous: Pakistan's Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the result cannot be certified until it rules on whether Mr. Musharraf is violating the constitution by entering the election without stepping down as Army commander in chief.
The good news is that Pakistan's autocratic but ineffectual leader will probably surrender a large share of power in the coming weeks. He has promised that if granted a new mandate as president, he will give up his military command -- something that may cause the Supreme Court to overlook the legal problems with his election. Yesterday he also, at last, struck a deal with one of the country's two principal secular political party leaders, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto . Under its terms, corruption charges against Ms. Bhutto and her husband will be dropped and she will be allowed to return to Pakistan this month. Her party hopes to win parliamentary elections due by early next year and return her as prime minister.
In a few months Pakistan could be governed by a troika of Mr. Musharraf, Ms. Bhutto or another civilian prime minister, and the likely new army commander, Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani. The Bush administration, which has been quietly pushing for just such an outcome while publicly proclaiming disinterest in Pakistan's internal affairs, is hoping that it will strengthen the government both politically and militarily in what, right now, is a losing battle against Islamic extremism -- including Taliban and al-Qaeda forces that have gained control over a large and growing chunk of western Pakistan.
The problem with this convoluted process is that it may involve very little democracy. Though Ms. Bhutto says her deal with Mr. Musharraf is meant to ensure that parliamentary elections will be free and fair, it appeared yesterday that another major Pakistani political figure, Nawaz Sharif, could be excluded. Though relatively popular while in exile, Ms. Bhutto could quickly be discredited if she is seen to be gaining power through backroom dealing with Mr. Musharraf. The government has recently conducted a crackdown on opposition leaders from Mr. Sharif's party, as well as on the media. Unless the crackdown is reversed and a credible parliamentary election is held, Pakistan's moderate and secular center will continue to be at war with itself while its enemies grow steadily stronger. (The Washington Post)