The Monday morning newscasts in the US are largely — appropriately — preoccupied with the Joplin twister. A couple of developments over the weekend in Pakistan are important to readers of HLSWatch, so just in case:
Friday May 20, the Dawn newspaper, perhaps Pakistan’s premier English-language newspaper, began extensive coverage of Wikileaks content related to Pakistan. A series of stories has already been published and more are planned. Here’s one quick excerpt:
The reports reveal that US special operations forces were embedded with Pakistani troops for intelligence gathering by the summer of 2009 and deployed with them on joint operations in Pakistani territory by September that year. MORE
This series of reports reveal a depth of close cooperation between the United States and Pakistani military quite in contrast with recent accusations in both nations subsequent to the Abbottabad operation.
Beginning Sunday night there was a fierce attack on a Pakistani naval base in Karachi, the nation’s largest city. According to Dawn:
Taliban militants assaulted the headquarters of Pakistan’s naval air force, battling on Monday security forces in the most brazen attack in the country since the killing of Osama bin Laden, killing 13 people, injuring 16 others and blowing up at least two military aircraft. Blasts rang out and helicopters hovered above the PNS Mehran base near Shahrah-e-Faisal almost 14 hours after more than 20 Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants stormed the heavily guarded building with guns and grenades, blowing up at least two aircraft and casting doubt on the military’s ability to protect its installations. MORE
The near-coincidence for the American operation against bin-Laden, the Wikileaks revelations, and this extraordinary attack will — one way or another — have a significant impact on Pakistan’s position going forward. One judgment of the likely direction is offered by Adnan Rehmat commenting in today’s late edition:
For Pakistan the pressure is just beginning. The world is running out of patience with Islamabad running with the hares and hunting with the hounds. It will have to cooperate to hunt down Mullah Omar, Aiman Al Zwahiri and others. For Pakistan there’s no avoiding the denouement. The sham of the caricaturised accountability of security failure of the intelligence agencies in parliament is far from enough. There is no shift in policy post-Abbottabad. An anti-US, pro-military resolution by parliamentmay have only ensured Pakistan will be dealt with the hard way. Because Pakistan refuses to become a ‘normal’ country like those in the rest of the world, its extraordinary posture will be dealt with extraordinarily. Pakistan will have to admit its failing and call for help. It’s the only way to stop from tipping over. MORE
The TTP has, of course, threatened to attack the United States and was implicated in the Times Square bombing attempt. Seemed too important for you to possibly not hear about through our domestic media.