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US Must Involve Itself In Tribal Areas

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I think no one in the world will favour war as war brings only destruction and pain. War is the last option. Though President Bush has committed a blunder by lauching war in the world, there is no choice now but to win this war.

Some of the tribesmen think that there was a time when there was no other option for the United States except launching war. First the terrorists struck as they had made plans to destroy this world. Now the people must defeat terrorism as terrorism is a risk to this planet on which we all must live. 

The role of Pakistan is very important in the war on terrorism. This may be the reason that the US has also been taking interest in its affairs. But the visit of present US officials has disappointed the tribesmen as they think a tougher US stand must be taken on terrorists presence in the tribal areas.

The official media reports the conference of US officials. Negroponte said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s deportation was a “legal matter” and the people of Pakistan should decide it. Negroponte said: “It (Nawaz’s deportation) is a legal matter but whatever is done should be done in a peaceful manner so that a peaceful evolution continues in Pakistan.” He said that the issue had not been discussed in the strategic dialogue meeting between the representatives of the two countries at the Foreign Office.

He said the US backed a peaceful political process and election in Pakistan to ensure a smooth transition of power.

On US strikes inside Pakistan, Negroponte said, “We approached this question (in the meeting) as friends and allies. All activities in the tribal region will be carried out with complete respect for Pakistan’ sovereignty.”

He said the US legislation, to which Pakistan had objected, called for certification before giving Pakistan any assistance and that it envisaged no sanctions. He said that he did not doubt Pakistan’s commitment to the war on terrorism as more than 1,000 Pakistani troops had died and a large number was still deployed in the troubled tribal areas.

Negroponte said that Pakistan’s strategy for promoting security, dialogue and development in the tribal areas was a positive step. “This holistic solution is a comprehensive and positive path towards resolving the problem in the tribal areas. The US recognises it and has pledged $750 million to support this plan,” he said.

Pakistani Foreign Secretary Raiz Mohammad Khan said Pakistan’s terms for cooperation against terrorism were clear and the US understood them. He said that Pakistan had reservations on the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and on the “language” of some US legislation because it ran against the bilateral commitment to long-term relations.

Khan said the two sides had discussed ways for cooperation in the energy sector, including nuclear. “Our position on the energy issue is very clear and we have told the Nuclear Suppliers Group that Pakistan should be given access to nuclear energy,” he said. He said the US would introduce legislation on Reconstruction Opportunity Zones, which would allow products from the tribal areas duty-free access to the US market.

According to tribesmen, the US must involve itself in the tribal areas as presently the terrorists have been using the areas for preparing plans for terrorist attacks in the world.

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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur District, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border is journalist by profession. He contributes articles and news stories to various online and print newspapers. His subject matter is terrorism. He is (more...)

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