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As 250 Killed in Clashes Near Afghan Border, British-Pakistani Author Tariq Ali on Pakistan, Afghanistan, ...
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 : The acclaimed British-Pakistani historian, novelist, political campaigner and commentator Tariq Ali joins us with his analysis of the latest from Pakistan. Days after General Pervez Musharraf’s re-election in a boycotted contest, at least 250 people have been killed in clashes along the Afghan border. Musharraf and his policies have generated a maelstrom of opposition from a broad spectrum of the Pakistani population.
The Pakistani military continues to bomb villages along the Afghan border bringing the death toll to 250 after 4 days of clashes. These villages lie within Pakistan’s federally administered tribal areas, which the White House described as a “safe haven” for Al Qaeda in its National Strategy for Homeland Security released Tuesday.
Pakistan’s military ruler and key US ally Pervez Musharraf swept most of the votes in Saturday’s presidential election which was boycotted by the opposition. Eight years after seizing power in a coup General Musharraf might have won the votes but his victory is not yet complete. He has to wait until the Supreme Court confirms the legality of his re-election bid given that he is still the army chief.
If his election is confirmed General Musharraf has promised to shed his military uniform, transition to civilian rule, and in a US brokered deal, share power with the exiled former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. But General Musharraf and his policies have generated a maelstrom of opposition from a broad spectrum of the Pakistani population. Tariq Ali was in Pakistan this summer and joins me now in the firehouse studio in New York.