FROM Najam Sethi
Pakistan and the Taliban Twenty-eight thousand Pakistani soldiers are in the fourth day of an offensive in South Waziristan, a province in western Pakistan where some 10,000 Taliban provide a base for al Qaeda and training for foreign jihadis.
Pakistan Fights Militants in the Mountains Despite fierce resistance, Pakistan's Army claims progress in its much-awaited offensive South Waziristan, where some 10,000 Taliban provide a base for al Qaeda and training for foreign jihadis. Twenty eight thousand troops are in the fourth day of their offensive, backed by jet planes, helicopters and tanks, as tens of thousands of civilians flee for their safety. In apparent response, suicide bombings continue in Pakistan's major cities, with two simultaneous strikes today at a university in Islamabad. Are the Army's Taliban targets the same ones the US and NATO are after next door in Afghanistan? What's the role of Pakistan's Cold War with India, and is this the moment for those nuclear powers to finally make peace?
India Reels after Mumbai Terror Attack Cell phone records reportedly show the terrorists who attacked Mumbai, India last week were in touch with a coordinator in Pakistan. Pakistan says it'll help investigate. Also today, there are widespread reports that India was warned in advance. (Rebroadcast from today's To the Point.)
India Reels after Mumbai Terror Attack A handful of attackers killed more than 170 people in three days of bloody violence last week in Mumbai. Pakistan says it will help determine where the terrorists came from. Reports say India was warned twice but failed to keep up its guard. Fueled by angry media, the level of tension is back where it was in 2001, when the nuclear powers were on the brink of open warfare. Were the real targets recent efforts to reconcile historical differences and Barack Obama's strategy for combating terror?
Overseas Reaction to Obama Election "We are dreaming, we Europeans, of Obamaland"—a place of sunshine and music, conciliation and concord. That's an abbreviated quotation from an editorial this week in the Independent of London, contemplating Barack Obama 's election. In the United States, Barack Hussein Obama won a comfortable majority. In the rest of the World, he won by a landslide. After much talk of America's decline, his election has restored it as a symbol of opportunity in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia. But biography is one thing, and policy is another. Obama may well have created expectations he'll never fulfill. We discuss the anticipation of radical change and possibility of a different scenario.
Violence Greets Bhutto's Return to Nuclear-Armed Pakistan Benazir Bhutto's return to Pakistan yesterday was made possible by a deal with Pervez Musharraf, who offered her amnesty from charges of stealing millions of dollars during her two terms as Prime Minister in exchange for Bhutto's party allowing Musharraf to be reelected President by the parliament, even though he is still the head of the Army. Last night's bombing turned a festival into a tragedy, killing almost 150 people and wounding hundreds more. Now, recriminations are fueling uncertainties about the deals between Musharraf and Bhutto, deals which are already being challenged in court. If that were not enough, it is being reported that the US and Britain ignored Pakistan's illegal nuclear weapons trade for 30 years, all the way back to the Presidency of Democrat Jimmy Carter. Did concern for the alliance allow Pakistan to become a nuclear power and illegally spread the technology to Libya, North Korea and Iran? What can the US do now?
Red Mosque Stand-off in Pakistan Ends with Cleric Dead After an eight-day, anti-government stand-off, Pakistani troops today raided the Red Mosque in Islamabad. Among those found dead was Abdul Rashid Ghazi , the pro-Taliban cleric in charge of the mosque. Najam Sethi is the editor of the Friday Times , published in Lahore.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.