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February 16th, 2009
10:20 PM ET

Pakistan’s dangerous deal

Editor's Note: Pakistani government officials announced Monday an agreement with the Taliban to allow strict Islamic law, or sharia, to be implemented in parts of North West Frontier Province. It marks a major concession by the Pakistani government in its attempt to hold off Taliban militants and analysts warn that Pakistan's previous dealings with the Taliban have only given the fundamentalist Islamic militia time to regroup and gain more ground. The deal with the Taliban comes on the heels of a visit by U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke, who is now meeting with leaders in neighboring India. He said he is awaiting more details of Monday's agreement, but said it underlines the challenge of dealing with the rise of the Taliban.

CNN’s Campbell Brown talked about the deal with Chief International correspondent Christiane Amanpour and asked her what, if any, influence the U.S. now has in Pakistan.


Filed under: Christiane Amanpour • Pakistan
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Mahmood

    Why US made deals in Iraq and why are they pushing Saudi's to get Taliban on board in Afghanistan ..No one opposed it then rather Mr.Petraeus was hailed as the King Strategist..so keep cool guys and let Pakistan do whatever they think is in the best interest of the country and people.Moreover Indians should not be worried they must take care of their "Modis" and "Pariwars" 1st .

    February 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  2. Dilip

    Dear Paul,
    You said – "People of pakistan, india and afghanistan are basically the same people , brethrens if you will, so what if thats what they want(sharia law) to stop the violence ,so be it. War profiteers dont want to see peace or unity among any of these countrys, if there is peace and unity ,no profit for the war profiteers."
    Are you willing to ban girls from going to school, behead people, force women to stay inside and better still ram aircrafts in countries who are developed or explode serial bombs in such countries? How can there be peace with such people running parts of any country? You spoke of War profiteers and Taliban is no different. They will not stop at one province of Pakistan or Afghanistan. Their aim is to impose their definition of "law" on the entire world. Any wonder they despise the developed countries so much...
    People of Pakistan, India or Afghanistan want progress & development. They too would like to have better access to education, health care and services.
    And as Qasemh said – "It seems everybody who has a device connected to internet thinks of him/her-self as a foreign policy expert making ignorant rants."
    Both me and you with diverging views on this topic would not even be allowed to post these comments on cnn had we both been under Taliban. It is true that we are not foreign policy experts and neither should we pretend to be one...but I request you to picture yourself in a state where you have no access to Television or internet or other forms of communication. Would you even know that cnn has published an article on this issue. Or maybe, ignorance is bliss and hence you would be happy unaware of any modern means of communication.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  3. Ramsi Hashash

    Dear Qasemh,
    The issue is exactly that. You said: "If the people of the state where these laws will be enforced (Swat) are happy (which apparently they are), then no one has the right to object..."

    The people in this specific case where represented by men only. Men do not represent the majority of the people of the Swat region. As a matter of fact they represent the minority.

    So to use your word, "apparently" the majority was not asked.

    Now back to the actual topic:

    Looking at Pakistan today shows us that Pakistan is on its way to a full fletched civil war within the next 5 years. I am certain you think I am nuts, but in really the Pakistani military has been in defacto a civil war mode for the past 3 years.

    The agreement in Swat will only strengthen Taliban and other stone age type of religious groups and tribes to push for what they think is right.

    Taking into consideration that we are talking about roughly 180 million Pakistani citizens. 150 million of who are not interested in the way of life of the Taliban and their friends and allies. Those 150 million are looking into a more balanced way between their religious believers and the "modern" ways.

    So some 30 million on one side and 150 million on the other side. problem 30 millions who have weapons and 150 million who do not know what to do with a weapon and who have no interest to die for their believes.

    Trouble certainly is rising in Pakistan. At this stage outsiders can only wait and watch.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  4. Jason

    these thugs want to live in the dark ages, well, let them. shaira law, or whatever it is, is just a cult. no meaning to it. it is not a way of life, but they have been brainwashed by these people and go with it. actually may be best to put them all in one area, it will be easier for us to carpet bomb the whole valley and do away with them once and for all.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  5. Qasemh

    If the people of the state where these laws will be enforced (Swat) are happy (which apparently they are), then no one has the right to object. It seems everybody who has a device connected to internet thinks of him/her-self as a foreign policy expert making ignorant rants.

    February 17, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  6. Mujahid Akli

    Apparently it looks odd...but maybe it could be a blessing in disguise...need to wait and see...Otherwise ,certianly, military action is still chooseable and an option ...need careful monitoring and surveillance...no need to worry that much...

    February 17, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  7. Tom Winans

    One can criticize past administrations for their view on the middle east – possibly rightfully in many cases. However, one thing I think we will all agree to in the next years is that the warning sounded regarding extremist Islam may actually have been too quietly sounded ... it should be noted that the warning was sounded, whether or not we executed in all cases well and consistently is a topic for another day.

    Giving ground to it here is tantamount to undoing much of what has been done in Iraq and elsewhere to spread democracy and to limit the Saudi and Iranian influence vis-a-vis highjacking Islam in general, making it suit their own economic and political needs.

    No good will come from it. And India will see more of what it saw in Nov 2008 ...

    February 17, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  8. Amar

    This is a terrifying news for anyone who is living near pakistan.Just heard the news that the Taliban are having a victory march across the valley; I suspect if either party of the peace treaty will keep to their words. In days to come, if ever anyone has followed history of taliban, what happens next is Taliban will announce that 'Sharia' can be implemented completly only with their command and then a major shift of the pakistan army in its neutral stand, for its survival and that the end of any chance of human existance on this planet.

    February 17, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  9. Umar Farooq

    Why did American government cut the deal with Sunni Extremists in IRAQ? Nobody said at that time, the American forces are surrendering to terrorists. Saving the lives of people of Pakistan is the prime responsibility of government of Pakistan, no matter what it takes, in this case a deal with Taliban.

    February 17, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  10. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    There are so many deals being made---that no one has an idea of what the agenda is---the US is loosing ground, if it hasn't already, on any influence it will have now or even in the future. Howie Mandel needs to star in the "International Deal or No Deal"..

    February 17, 2009 at 9:11 am |
  11. Andrew

    Has anyone thought about reinstating Musharraf as President? He may or may not have been President legally, but we wouldn't have to bombing a sovereign NUCLEAR POWER if they had someone who had control in power. Their fractious ISI is still funneling money and arms and even providing a base for recruitment for the Taliban. So, why do we need their current President to wink at us as we drop bombs on targets given to us by an a country that's doing more to help our enemies than us? I'd much prefer to make a real ally out of Pakistan, not drop bombs on it killing mothers, sisters, fathers and brothers while creating more terrorists or freedom fighters, or whatever we call them now.

    February 17, 2009 at 12:52 am |
  12. fred

    not only a deal with the devil but it has to be done so all this international political families can carry out the antichrist master plan,to ruin the world,-perfect commite to help iplament the n.w.o

    February 17, 2009 at 12:45 am |
  13. jonathan

    I think this is just the beginning we will see other Islamic states adopting the same laws as Pakistan has juts done. This is also another headache against the war on terror. Pakistan is a key battleground on the war on terror, it shows how strong and determined Islamic terrorist are.

    February 17, 2009 at 12:07 am |
  14. paul scott

    People of pakistan, india and afghanistan are basically the same people , brethrens if you will, so what if thats what they want(sharia law) to stop the viollence ,so be it. War profiteers dont want to see peace or unity among any of these countrys, if there is peace and unity ,no profit for the war profiteers. A strategy used by the invading occupiers for centuries, Invade, conquer, support puppet regimes,arm them, and sit back and watch the chaos, and reap and or control the natural resources, of the soil.

    February 16, 2009 at 11:28 pm |
  15. Ghuman

    I think this is great. At the very least in a few years (perhaps months) we can prove and show the people that Taliban had their chance and opportunity and failed.

    The obsolete and antiquated system they want to enforce is ineffective, to say the least.

    February 16, 2009 at 10:45 pm |