Monday, April 23, 2007

Pakistan Says Osama is Off Limits?

"The US military does not have permission to conduct operations inside Pakistan’s tribal territory even if it is tipped that Osama bin Laden is hiding in that area, says the commander of the US Central Command (Centcom).

Admiral William Fallon told a congressional hearing that the arrangement they had with Islamabad did not allow them to take direct military actions against targets inside Pakistan.

Admiral Fallon conceded that President Musharraf and Afghan President Hamid Karzai “have differing opinion, to put it mildly,” on how to deal with the “complex issue” of the Taliban activities in the tribal belt.

He said President Musharraf was “pretty eloquent” in taking him through a long list of things that people had “suggested, requested or demanded” that the Pakistanis do and he “met with different reactions from him.”

The Centcom chief said that while discussing “the big picture” with President Musharraf to see “what the level of commitment seems to be from him,” he noted “a couple of significant things.” (source)

I realize that Musharraf's Presidency is precarious, but this isn't some low level operative we're talking about... I say Islamabad gives us carte blanche in our efforts to "capture or kill” bin Laden or every penny of aid and military equipment is rescinded immediately.

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