Al-Qaeda alive and well in Pakistan

The United States of America blames Islamabad for frustrating the final assault on Bin Laden’s terrorist network.

US sources in Washington have complained that the Pakistani authorities are frustrating attempts to flush out Al Qaeda operationals in Pakistani tribal territories. This is the first friction between the two countries since 7th October, when the US-led coalition against international terrorism began its campaign against Afghanistan.

Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, who received an overwhelming vote of support from his people in the recent plebiscite, extending his rule for another five years, fears that such an offensive will set in motion powerful forces against Islamabad’s rule in this region (Baluchistan), where the Pashtun population feels more affinity with the Taleban than with the whisky-drinking Musharraf and his army cronies.

The Pentagon is not impressed and intends to go ahead whatever the situation, according to a Pentagon official, who requested to remain anonymous, claiming that “We know that there is a great concentration of Al Qaeda forces” in this region.

Islamabad demands credible proof of the existence of great numbers of Al Qaeda members within its borders before any operation can be launched. Should the Pentagon lose its patience and launch an attack, it is entering unmapped territory and playing with fire.


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