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|CIA chief visited Pak 'to force changes'|
|12/05/01 at 10:19:41|
|CIA chief visited Pak 'to force changes'|
WASHINGTON: Pakistan is being compelled to initiate wide-ranging reforms,
including changes in its strategic posture, under unrelenting pressure from
Washington to abandon its failed militaristic policies, according to US officials
monitoring the fast-changing dynamics in the region.
The changes include purging the Pakistani establishment, including its
intelligence agencies, of radical elements, clamping down on religious
institutions advocating a perverted form of jihad, and diverting resources,
particularly US aid procured in lieu of cooperation over the war on terrorism, to
the social sector.
Islamabad is also being asked to re-evaluate its failed policies on Afghanistan
and Kashmir that has brought infamy on the country. CIA Director George Tenet
is the latest among a stream of US officials who have visited Pakistan to
“persuade" Islamabad to initiate changes in policy, including those concerning
In a not-so-furtive "secret visit" to Islamabad last weekend, Tenet pushed for
deeper intelligence “cooperation” with the aim of getting a better US oversight on
Pakistani agencies, whose many maverick operations – including Kargil -- have
embarrassed even the moderates in the Pakistani establishment.
Tenet’s visit will result in greater US intelligence and law enforcement presence
in Pakistan to keep track of jehadi elements and organisations. Already, the FBI
has been deployed in major Pakistani airports to monitor the movement of
jehadis and terrorists.
In the past, terrorists involved in major strikes in the west, including the first
World Trade Center bombings, assassination of CIA personnel, and the
embassy bombing in Africa, have moved freely in and out of Pakistan. Pakistanis
constitute the largest number of foreigners arrested in the US following the
September 11 carnage. Pakistanis also constitute the greatest number of
“foreign fighters” in Afghanistan.
The movement out of Pakistan of suspected jehadi elements is now being
severely curtailed following tightened security. US officials say they want
Islamabad to totally circumscribe militant activity, and US intelligence agencies
will seek even greater domestic oversight once the hunt for Osama bin Laden is
US officials contest the view in some Indian quarters that Pakistan is getting
economic freebies without accountability. “They are not getting anything free.
There is plenty happening behind the scenes,” one official said.
The $600 million aid package Washington has cleared for Islamabad would
almost entirely go towards the social sector spending, except for a small portion
for monitoring its borders with Afghanistan. At the same time, Washington has
agreed to help India monitor its border with Pakistan to prevent terrorist
Washington has carefully kept Kashmir out of the debate “to give Musharraf
some domestic breathing space.” But privately, US officials are advising
Pakistan to break away from its aggressive and militaristic Kashmir policy.
“We think the message has gone out that they are not going to able to get
Kashmir by force,” the official said, adding that “it will be some time before
changes in the Pakistani policies begin to show.” The administration, he said,
was confident Pakistan would follow the US prescription "for its own benefit and
Pakistan’s argument that it is providing only moral and political support to
terrorists stands discredited after scores of jehadis from ISI-backed
organisations have publicly said they have fought in both Afghanistan and
Kashmir, moving from one place to another with ease.
Meanwhile shortly after Tenet’s visit, the Musharraf regime has begun a survey
and audit of the madrassas and their finances. According to reports in the
Pakistani media, Musharraf held a meeting on Monday to frame new policies
aimed at bringing more than 6500 madrasses into the mainstream educational
“It was decided that audit of all the foreign-funded religious schools be carried
out and a mechanism be evolved to keep track of funds being received from
"Syllabi of these schools would be reviewed and a component of conventional
subjects including Mathematics and English would also be introduced so that
students of these schools could be gainfully employed after graduation,” Dawn
Source: Times of India
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