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More Pakistan


Also a great article in the Times about the way Musharraf has been attempting to straddle between the U.S. and the Islamists, who are busy trying to kill him. How deeply confused is the Pakistani government? Check out this passage about one of the would-be assassins:

“Investigators say one of the bombers may have been Muhammad Jamil, 23, a jihadi, or holy warrior, from Pakistan-held Kashmir, according to a report in the newspaper Dawn. He also fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Mr. Jamil was captured in Kabul, Afghanistan, and in March was turned over to Pakistani authorities. The intelligence services interrogated him and declared him “white” — not a threat to the state — and released him.

Mr. Jamil was associated with a hard-line Kashmiri militant group, Jaish-e-Muhammad. That group has been banned but its founder, Maulana Masood Azhar, was still making pro-jihad speaking tours as recently as October. Mr. Azhar was one of three men freed from Indian jails in exchange for a planeload of hostages hijacked in 1999.

Other lines that General Musharraf sought to draw among extremist groups have also been blurred by the militants themselves. A senior Western intelligence official said recently that Laskhar-e-Taiba, a fundamentalist group believed to have been set up by Pakistani intelligence to fight in Kashmir, appeared to have been providing training to cadres of both Al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah, a militant group also active in southeast Asia.”