As the incendiary training at some of Pakistan's seminaries drew renewed focus in the weeks after the July 7 bombings in London, President Pervez Musharraf promised to bring the schools into the mainstream and expel their foreign students by the end of the year. But his tough pledge has fizzled. Last week, the government backed away from its deadline and said it would not use force to deport the students. ... The limited gains in carrying out the madrasa changes reflect the delicate choices General Musharraf faces. His backers say that pursuing madrasas too aggressively would enable religious radicals to depict him as a stooge for the West. Critics say the effort reflects a half-hearted resolve to flush out religious militancy.Seems to me we ought to withhold some aid and debt relief from Pakistan. There is nothing wrong with conditional aid. HERE'S ANOTHER REASON WHY WE NEED TO GET TOUGHER WITH THEM - FROM THE BANGKOK POST NEWS:
His promise last July was, in fact, a reiteration of earlier promises. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, madrasa reform was among the many changes General Musharraf pledged in exchange for generous aid and debt relief from the United States and other Western allies.
On Friday, Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao told Reuters that the government would not use force to round up foreign students. "The management of the madrasas are responsible to arrange departures of their students and we are pushing them to help us in implementing this decision," he said.
The Associated Press, citing figures from the main association of religious schools, the Federation of Madrasas, reported last week that about 1,000 foreign students had left since July, while another 700 remained.
In addition to expelling foreign students, General Musharraf said in July that the madrasas would be required to register with the government and to account for their financing. So far, 5,000 of the 12,000 established schools have not registered, according to the minister for religious affairs, Ijaz ul-Haq.
Afghanistan's Taliban have gained sway in a sensitive border area where they have been killing their opponents with impunity despite the heavy presence of government forces. The word of the militants, who call themselves Taliban, has virtually become law in parts of the semi-autonomous North Waziristan tribal area, while the military appears loath to intervene. ''The situation is no longer under their control,'' Rahimullah Yusufzai, a prominent journalist and expert on the region, said of the Pakistani army. The government had ''totally abdicated'' its authority in North Waziristan, he said. ''It seems it's Taliban raj [rule] there.''
FROM THE INDIAN EXPRESS:
Pakistani followers of Afghanistan’s Taliban have gained sway in a sensitive border area where they have been killing their opponents with impunity despite the heavy presence of government forces.I agreed with Bush when he said, "You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists." It seems that he has recently and sadly abandoned that policy, and the result is backsliding (in Gaza, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, AND in regard to prolonged "negotitations with" Iran and North Korea - where time is definitely NOT on our side). This is not surprising: The enemy gets only more motivated whenever we show a lack of resolve or a lack of moral clarity - EVEN with our "allies". My message to Bush: Get Tougher!
The word of the militants, who call themselves Taliban, has virtually become law in parts of the semi-autonomous North Waziristan tribal area while the military appears loathe to intervene. ‘‘The situation is no longer under their control,’’ Rahimullah Yusufzai, a prominent journalist and expert on the region, said of the Pakistani Army. The government had ‘‘totally abdicated’’ its authority in North Waziristan, he said. ‘‘It seems it’s Taliban raj there.