Article: U.S. privately backs Pakistan’s deal with Taliban

Daily Telegraph (UK)

US privately backs Pakistan’s ‘Sharia law for peace’ deal with Taliban

American officials have privately backed Pakistan’s “Sharia law for peace” deal with Taliban militants in the Swat Valley despite publicly criticising it as a “negative development”.

By Dean Nelson, Javed Siddiq in Islamabad and Emal Khan in Peshawar
Last Updated: 7:25PM GMT 17 Feb 2009
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Opinion: U.S. policies have weakened Pakistani civilian rule

Opinion:  U.S. policies have weakened Pakistani civilian rule

By Sanjeev Bery and Manan Ahmed

San Jose Mercury News  /  Posted: 02/17/2009

http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_11724597

Depending on whether you like watching your news or reading it, there were two very different reports on Pakistan this Sunday.

On CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Pakistani President Asif Zardari proclaimed that his nation is in a fight for its survival, with the Taliban “trying to take over the state of Pakistan.” Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that Zardari’s government reached a 10-day cease fire with a Taliban-affiliated militia in the northern Swat Valley. The militia agreed to stop fighting, and in return, the government agreed to implement Islamic Sharia law in the area.

How does one reconcile the two accounts?

First, let’s dispense with the hyperbole. Pakistan is not on the verge of being taken over by Taliban militias.

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