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Pakistan: Moving In the Right Direction At Last

Published on: July 4th 2009 14:59:07
National Security Advisor, General James Jones’ most recent visit to Pakistan has him feeling more confident about Islamabad’s abilities to effectively reverse Islamist gains in the Swat Valley. Grave concerns remain about the ability of the Pakistani government to deal with the resultant millions of refugees, however. The United Nations (UNHCR) estimates that this may be the largest displacement of people they have had to deal with in their history. The White House and the Pentagon understand that if Pakistan fails to care properly for these people, the military gains against the Islamists will be for naught. The Administration is prepared to assist with both funding and public statements of support. Jones is quoted staying: “It’s a very, very important moment right now, it’s a strategic moment, and the relationship is definitely [moving] in the right direction.” Moreover, the Pakistani government’s pressure against militants is a “tremendous confidence-builder for the future.”  As one Pentagon official told us: “Much can go wrong at this juncture. Zadari has come around and the military are working the problem very hard. You have to understand, these are new developments. We hope they will continue. We have our fingers crossed.” 

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