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President Gen Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday warned Pakistan would not tolerate future violations of its frontiers and would thwart infiltration into its controlled areas on the pretext of war of terror. Talking to Gen Abizaid, the chief of US Central Command, who called on him at Army House in Rawalpindi, the president said Islamabad was offering every possible support and cooperation to the US and the international community for fighting terrorism and extremism, however it could not allow anyone to violate its borders under the pretext of anti-terror campaign.
"Our forces are vigilant against terrorists and are doing every possible for purging Pakistan and the region of them. Their successes against militants are indubitable", he said. "Now, we want our borders to be respected in war of terrorism. We will not put up with border breaches in future ", he said. He said Pakistani security forces had successfully destroyed hideouts of foreign militants in Northern and Southern Waziristan.
And so a window opens into the strange doings in Central Asia. From Wikipedia:
Waziristan is a mountainous region of northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and covering some 11,585 km² (4,473 mi²). It comprises the area west and southwest of Peshawar between the Tochi river to the north and the Gomal river to the south, forming part of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas. ... After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, thousands of Afghan refugees fled across the border to Waziristan, which became an important base for the mujahideen guerillas fighting the Soviet occupation. ... he area reprised its 1980s role in 2001 during the US invasion of Afghanistan, this time playing host not only to refugees but also to defeated Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters. They were actually the remnants of the same fundamentalist groups who were trained and equipped by the CIA and Pakistani intelligence agencies during soviet invasion of Afghanistan. This time their allies confronted them. Osama bin Laden himself was widely believed to have taken refuge either in Waziristan or just across the Afghan border.
This was the gateway to the classic ground of the Great Game, the land ocean between all the civilizational centers of the Eurasia. Although news accounts of Operation Enduring Freedom may have given the impression that Pakistan was the highway to Afghanistan, the reverse may be true. Ahmed Rashid wrote in the International Herald Tribune of the tantalizing view southeast:
Gone are the days when U.S. officials said vaguely that bin Laden was somewhere on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Vice President Dick Cheney and the CIA director, Porter Goss, have said that they know where bin Laden is and that he is not in Afghanistan - implying he is in Pakistan. Zalmay Khalilzad, the former U.S. ambassador to Kabul who is now the U.S envoy in Baghdad, has been more blunt and said that bin Laden is in Pakistan. So where is bin Laden? Mostly likely he is hiding ... in the northern areas, bordering China and Afghanistan, the Karakorum mountains merge into the Pamir range, providing a scarcely populated, high-altitude hiding ground.
The view north and west is even more staggering: Central Asia is the last white space on the map the world, an area still largely free of the control of functioning nation states and beyond of the reach of America. At the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute, Dr. Stephen Blank suggests in an article that this may be about to change.
Uzbekistan has announced that it will offer U.S. forces a base for operations in Afghanistan, and that it does not rule out the possibility of a permanent base if needed. The importance of this cannot be overestimated. Both Russia and China hoped America’s incursion into Central Asia was temporary and would end when the terrorism threat abated. Instead, it appears the United States will remain a major player there, not only countering terrorism but also maintaining access to large energy deposits, preserving options for democratizing these states, and establishing a global power projection capability. This last objective is new. Whereas the others are long-standing goals of U.S. policy, maintaining an effective global power projection capability stems from the strategic watershed triggered by September 11, 2001, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As those wars revealed, U.S. military forces can now achieve something unprecedented in military history, namely they can project and sustain sea-based and air-based power into Central Asia. This unprecedented capability allows the United States to project and sustain power anywhere in Asia from anywhere else in Asia, from the Middle East to the Pacific, with virtual impunity, constituting a veritable strategic revolution.
Just as mobility through the application of maritime technology was the foundation of Britain's seapower, so is America's based on the ability to freely traverse the oceans -- and now the great land spaces -- of the world. Not by itself, but in consequence: by threatening the areas of weakest governance, organizations like Al Qaeda have driven those beleaguered states into the arms of the only power with means and mobility to come to their assistance. It would be the supreme irony if radical Islam's lasting contribution to history turned out to be the establishment of a global American power. Without the rise of radical Islamism and the collapse of Soviet authority in Central Asia, there would have been no case for a US presence. In a Chicago Tribune article entitled US Outflanks Kremlin, Beijing on Kyrgyz Base, correspondent Alex Rodriguez wrote:
Facing pressure from Russia and China to end America's military presence in two Central Asian states, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld won assurances Tuesday from Kyrgyzstan's new leaders that they would not shut down a U.S. base on Kyrgyz soil used for combat and humanitarian missions in Afghanistan. ...
At the start of the Afghan war, the Kremlin acquiesced to the establishment of temporary American bases in Central Asia, experts say, largely because Russian leaders fully understood the threat Islamic militants posed in the region. But Moscow has grown wary of a U.S. military presence in Central Asia, a region it wants firmly under its wing.
"In 2001, there was a sense that Russia was incapable of providing security for Central Asia," said Ivan Safranchuk, an analyst with the Center for Defense Information in Moscow. "But Russian leaders always had this nightmare scenario: What if the U.S. did not leave? What if they deceive us and stay in Central Asia for much longer than planned?"
Osama bin Laden. The uncomprehending vanguard of America.