Bush to squeeze Musharraf on Pakistan’s support for al-Qaeda and Taliban
And in Washington, the White House “concluded that General Musharraf is failing to live up to commitments he made to Mr. Bush during a visit here in September”. So President Bush, who usually says nice things about Musharraf in public, will deliver an “unusually tough” message to his FATWAT—
warning him that the newly Democratic Congress could cut aid to his country unless his forces became far more aggressive in hunting down operatives with Al Qaeda, senior administration officials say.
American intelligence officials have made an assessment that senior Qaeda leaders in Pakistan have re-established significant control over their global network and are training operatives in some of the camps for strikes on Western targets.
One American official familiar with intelligence reports about Pakistan said intelligence agencies had established â€œclear linkagesâ€ between the Qaeda camps and the plot to blow up trans-Atlantic flights that was thwarted last August. American analysts also note that the recent trials of terrorism suspects in Britain revealed that some defendants had been trained in Pakistan. [NYT]
The law of diminishing returns has caught up with the Pakistani boilerplate of “having arrested and turned over more than 500 al-Qaeda suspects”. Also the New York Times, ever so subtly, refers to “Pakistanâ€™s military dictator, Gen. Pervez Musharraf”. He’s “Pakistan’s president, Gen Musharraf” at less unusually tough times.
Update: Dick Cheney went to Islamabad entirely unannounced and had a private lunch with Gen Musharraf. What tiresome guests!