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Karzai Threatens To Attack Pakistan Taliban

From a deeply disappointed Associated Press:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks at a news conference in Kabul June 15, 2008.

Afghans Support Karzai Troop Threat

Monday, Jun. 16, 2008 By AP/AMIR SHAH

(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Hundreds of Afghans gathered in eastern Afghanistan Monday in support of President Hamid Karzai’s threat to send troops after Taliban militants inside Pakistan, officials said.

Ghami Mohammad Yar, spokesman for the governor of Paktika province, which borders Pakistan, said hundreds of tribesmen, elders and clerics had gathered at the governor’s compound to express support for Karzai.

"We are ready to sacrifice, like before, for the protection of our homeland borders," Yar said. Mohammad Akram Akhpelwak, Paktika’s governor, said gatherings of support were being held in three other areas of Paktika.

Karzai on Sunday threatened to send Afghan troops to fight notorious Taliban leaders inside Pakistan in an angry warning that he will no longer tolerate cross-border attacks.

The threat — the first time Karzai has said he would send forces into Pakistan — comes only days after a sophisticated Taliban assault on Kandahar’s prison freed 870 prisoners, including hundreds of militants from the Islamist movement.

Karzai has long pleaded with Pakistan and the international community to confront tribal area safe havens, and U.S. officials have increased their warnings in recent weeks that the sanctuaries in Pakistan must be dealt with…

Karzai told a news conference that Afghanistan has the right to self defense, and because militants cross over from Pakistan "to come and kill Afghan and kill coalition troops, it exactly gives us the right to do the same."

Karzai also warned Pakistan-based Taliban leaders Mullah Omar and Baitullah Mehsud that Afghan forces would target then on their home turf. Mehsud has been accused in last year’s assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto…

A spokesman for Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Pakistan’s Taliban movement, warned of an escalation in Taliban attacks against NATO and Afghan forces if Karzai sends forces across the border.

Spokesman Maulvi Umar also said the Afghan army would face defeat at the hands of thousands of tribal fighters.

And yet Pakistan and our media still persist in pretending that there are no Taliban there.

Anyway, good for Mr. Karzai.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, June 16th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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