Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Pakistan military says U.S. did not get permission for raid
Could this be true? Could the United States military have launched an attack inside Pakistan without the OK from the close ally? That's what Pakistan's new military chief implied Wednesday when he called last week's attack "reckless" and said no further actions would be permitted by foreign forces. The Cable News Network reported Wednesday that Chief of Army Staff Parvez Kayani, who succeeded former President Pervez Musharraf last year, said "no external force is permitted to conduct operations ... inside Pakistan." This apparently is Kayani's first foray into politics since Musharraf, who used his position as head of the military to seize power in a 1999 coup, appointed Kayani after he left to become civilian president last year. Musharraf resigned resigned the presidency last month. The political awakening of Kayani raises the prospect of a new military takeover of nuclear-armed Pakistan, a key player in the U.S.-sponsored war on terror. But the war on extremists, many of whom are believed to be taking refuge on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, is unpopular in Pakistan. Musharraf had been careful to limit any overt U.S. presence in Pakistan, fearing a violent reaction, and pointedly refused to permit U.S. forces to operate from Pakistani territory. The country has struggled to regain political stability since Musharraf left office. The Pakistan People's Party leads the government, but the civilian governing coalition that helped to force Musharraf out has splintered.