The Pakistani president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, was warned this month that Islamic militants and Taliban fighters were rapidly spreading beyond the country’s lawless tribal areas and that without “swift and decisive action,” the growing militancy could engulf the rest of the country.
The warning came in a document from the Interior Ministry, which said Pakistan’s security forces in North-West Frontier Province abutting the tribal areas were outgunned and outnumbered and had forfeited authority to the Taliban and their allies.
“The ongoing spell of active Taliban resistance has brought about serious repercussions for Pakistan,” says the 15-page document, which was shown to The New York Times. “There is a general policy of appeasement towards the Taliban, which has further emboldened them.”
The document was discussed by this country’s National Security Council on June 4 while General Musharraf was present, the document notes. It appears to be the first such document to emerge from the Pakistani government formally recognizing the seriousness of the spreading threat here from Al Qaeda and the Taliban, according to a Western diplomat.