Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Questions Focus on Pakistan’s Role in Terror Fight


The death of Osama bin Laden inspired many questions, but fewer answers on Tuesday: Could it lead to further erosion of support for foreign troops in Afghanistan and, subsequently, a faster withdrawal by NATO? And how should outside powers deal with Pakistan, whose president denied Western accusations that his nuclear-armed nation lacked what he called “vitality” in combating terrorism?

“There are lots of questions that need to be asked,” Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain said in a radio interview Tuesday. “And we should be tough in asking those questions. But we should deal with what we do know. And we do know that the Pakistan political leadership is fighting terrorism. We do know that country has suffered.”

“We should work with those forces in Pakistan that want us to combat terrorism and extremism and make democracy take hold in that country,” he added, in what seemed a plea for continued engagement with Pakistan despite intense speculation that Pakistani officials knew of Bin Laden’s whereabouts, close to their capital and just down the road from a major military facility. “That is in our national interest.”

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