India-Pakistan: October 22, 2001

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President Musharraf told his people, via a TV appearance, that Pakistan had no choice but to join the international War on Terrorism. To not do so, while India did, would have left Pakistan isolated and without any support. Instead, by joining the effort against bin Laden, Pakistan has already received nearly a billion dollars worth of aid, had US sanctions lifted and (unsaid) was finally confronting its problems with Islamic fundamentalism. Musharraf also called for the fighting in Afghanistan to be over soon, but this is mostly for domestic consumption. Musharraf, a professional soldier, knows better. Meanwhile, many Afghan refugees have forced their way into Pakistan. The Taliban has allowed the Pakistanis to set up refugee camps on the Afghan side of the border. In Kashmir,   Pakistani and Indian artillery fire across the Line of Control left an Indian officer dead. India refuses to discuss Kashmir with Pakistan until Pakistan restrains the Kashmir rebels. But the Islamic fundamentalist groups that supply most of the Kashmir rebels are popular in Pakistan. Cracking down on them isn't easy. 

 

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