HOW LATE IT WAS, HOW LATE (via Luciferous):

Musharraf sends stern warning to terrorists (Mohammed Rizwan, March 24, 2006, Daily Times)

President General Pervez Musharraf has warned terrorists and extremists in Pakistan that they will be eliminated.

“I warn those foreign terrorists in Waziristan to leave otherwise we’ll finish them off,” he said in a speech to a large crowd at Minar-e-Pakistan on the occasion of Pakistan Day. “I also warn those religious extremists who burnt down The Mall on February 14 to refrain from such activities in future as destruction and arson will not be tolerated anymore.”

The president also appealed to the people of NWFP to support the operation against the terrorists. “If people stand by the Pakistan Army in Waziristan, I assure them that law and order will be restored in the area,” he said.

Ministry wants army action in FATA cut (Shahzad Raza, March 24, 2006, Daily Times)

The Interior Ministry has advised President Pervez Musharraf to deploy army troops against foreign militants hiding in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) only as a last resort and rely on paramilitary forces instead.

A senior Interior Ministry official told Daily Times that during meetings with the president on FATA, the ministry opposed frequent army operations against militants in the tribal areas. The president was advised that the Frontier Constabulary and Levies should be made responsible for taking action against militants in Waziristan and other troubled tribal areas. The ministry called for continuing the dialogue process to find out a political solution to the conflict. It proposed that pro-government tribal elders be encouraged to gain support for the government from tribal people.

One of the most basic lessons of 9-11 is that the civilized world can not tolerate geographical regions where no central political authority exercises sovereign legal power and can be held accountable for the cross border behavior of inhabitants. It would be best if the Pakistanis dealt with the tribal areas themselves, but if not we’ll have to eventually.

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