The BBC has some early reaction to Musharraf’s speech on Pakistani television today, in which (the BBC indicates):
General Musharraf answered Indian claims that Islamabad was allowing militants to carry out attacks by saying that Pakistan would not allow terrorism to be launched from its soil…He said no infiltration was taking place into Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Hmmm. That statement about “not allowing terrorism” from their soil would sure be a lot more reassuring if I had any faith that the statement about “no infiltration taking place” was true. Which I don’t.
The BBC also shows here that they do know how to do things right on the web with excellent background coverage surrounding the main article here, including a grim little map which shows the striking range of both Pakistan and India’s missiles, along with data on the nuclear payloads which can be mounted on them. (Bottom line: Both sides have the capability to nuke any site in the other’s territory, as well as quite a bit of real estate in surrounding countries if they chose).
CNN also covers the story (with background that isn’t so shoddy either), and includes this quote from the general:
He said Pakistan wanted dialogue, but he added: “If war is thrust upon us, every Muslim is bound to respond in kind.”
I find it worrisome that Musharraf is using this kind of vaguely Islamist rhetoric in his call-to-arms. I’ll confess up front that I haven’t paid nearly as much attention to the general as I probably should have (and there are lots of people out there who know more than I on the subject, including this fellow ). But isn’t he supposed to be the secular guy holding the fundamentalists in check?