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U.S.-Pakistan Discussion over Military Action against Afghanistan

U.S.-Pakistan Discussion over Military Action against Afghanistan

Posted September. 25, 2001 08:55,   


The U.S. military delegation arrived in Pakistan to discuss with the Pakistan government the details of military cooperation including the U.S. forces` using Pakistani military facilities.

U.S. President George W. Bush asked the Congress to allow the arms export and military supports to such countries as China and Iran in order to join together with as many countries as possible in the `Anti-Terrorism War`.

Led by Gen. Kevin Chilton, Pentagon director of strategic planning for the Near East and South Asia, the delegation team began a talk with the Pakistani officials on Sept. 24 in Islamabad to finalize plans for the United States to use Pakistani airspace, intelligence-sharing and military facilities in support for strikes against Afghanistan.

It has been reported that Pakistan, which had already agreed to open its airspace to the U.S. forces, is now considering to allow the U.S. forces to use air bases in Quetta and Kamra near Peshawar.

Washington Post reported that President Bush requested the Congress to allow the arms export and military supports to any countries for 5 years henceforward when it is proved that they are necessary for preventing terrorism.

It added, if the Congress accepted Bush`s request, such countries as Syria, Iran, China and Pakistan, would be included in the list of countries to receive military supports from the United States.

Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice told on Sept. 23 that the United States will ``put before the world, the American people, a persuasive case that ... it is Al Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden, who has been responsible for the attacks.`` The two reports expected to be delivered to the U.S. allies and Arab nations were made by the State Department and other intelligence services, and will be released ``before the United States takes military actions.`` reported The New Times on Sept. 24.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Sept. 23 at the interview with CBS television that ``this is not an Afghan problem. This is a worldwide problem of the terrorist networks.`` noting that Al Qaeda operates in at least 60 countries, and thus insinuated that the United States may strike other countries besides Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Taliban claimed that its fighters shot down an unmanned aircraft, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld confirmed that the U.S. military had lost contact with an unmanned spy plane, and thus admitted its loss. The Taliban also claimed on Sept. 23 that it also brought down a foreign aircraft in the northern area.

According to the AFP News, Taliban Defense Minster said on Sept. 24 that Afghanistan was mobilizing an additional 300,000 men to help fight a jihad or holy war against any U.S. attack.

Hong Kwon-Heui konihong@donga.com