Sunday, May 01, 2005

ANALYSIS: The Pakistani question

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During recent weeks, speculation about the activities or the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida network have been missing from the media. And if it isn't on television or in the newspapers, it doesn't exist. However, Pakistan exists, and a lot of attention was given by the media to our providing its air force with nuclear-capable F-16 fighter jets. These F-16s could be flying over India's huge population centers armed with nuclear weapons within 30 minutes. Probable? Not while Pakistani Gen. Pervez Musharraf remains as president. But in the past 12 months there have been at least two assassination attempts on his life. And in testimony before Congress, the director of the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency said that if Musharraf were replaced, the new leader would be less pro-U.S.: "We are concerned that extremist Islamic politicians would gain greater influence."

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