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Apr 06,2009
Pakistanis don't share U.S. Taliban view
by UPI

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Pakistan's political and military elites don't agree with the United States that the threat from Islamic extremists is a dire one, analysts say.

U.S. President Barack Obama's call for Pakistan to commit to an all-out effort to fight Taliban and al-Qaida militants in exchange for sizable increases in foreign aid is being rebuffed by many in the military who view India as the enemy, The New York Times reported Monday.

Many mid-ranking Pakistani soldiers don't see the Taliban as the enemy but as fellow Muslims who deserve more loyalty than U.S. goals of strengthening the country's weak civilian institutions and casting Islamic fundamentalists as a common foe, the newspaper said.

Obama's offer of $1.5 billion in aid in each of the next three years, as well as his backing of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, probably won't be enough to change perceptions within Pakistan that the battle against the Taliban is the United States' fight and not Islamabad's, former Interior Minister Aftab Ahmad Sherpao told the Times.

"After such a long time of being with the Americans, the country has been through such stress and strain and nothing good has come of it," he said.

Copyright © 2009, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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