In Pakistan, a New Approach to Militants: NYT

In Pakistan, a New Approach to Militants
By JANE PERLEZ, New York Times, March 22, 2008

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Faced with a sharp escalation of suicide bombing in urban areas, the leaders of Pakistan’s new coalition government say they will negotiate with the militants believed to be orchestrating the attacks, and would use the military only as a last resort.

That talk has alarmed American officials, who fear it will mean a softening stance against the militants just as President Pervez Musharraf, an ally in the war on terror, has given the Bush administration a freer hand to strike at them using unmanned Predator drones.

Many Pakistanis, however, are convinced the surge in suicide bombings — 17 in the first 10 weeks of 2008 — is in direct retaliation for three such Predator strikes since the beginning of the year. The spike in attacks, combined with Mr. Musharraf’s crushing defeat in February elections, has brought a new mood in Pakistan: that there should be a change from his American-backed policies.

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Awais said…
I find it interesting, amusing even that Nawaz Sharif would willingly talk to the militants, who have killed thousands of innocents women and children, on the pretext tht if we can talk to India, why not our own citizens yet he would not talk to MQM saying they were behind May 12th violence.

Amazing. Anyone else see the irony in that? I wonder if anyone will put this question to him one day.

To clarify: I am no MQM supporter. I voted for NS but I just don't want him talking to any militant who has directly or indirectly killed even a single citizen. Anyone else with me?

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