VP Cheney was worried about the failure of the Islamabad government to control its northwestern provinces. President Musharraf signed a treaty last September withdrawing his military in exchange for a promise by local tribal chiefs to secure the border with Afghanistan. NBC focused on the failure of that treaty. Last week, Lisa Myers had demonstrated how open the Pakistan-Afghanistan border is. Now, David Gregory quoted Musharraf as acknowledging Cheney's concerns about "a spring offensive" in Afghanistan: "The Taliban claims it has a force 10,000 strong." Bush has offered Pakistan $785m in foreign aid and wants Musharraf to resume his crackdown. "It really is not very likely that this pressure is going to work," Andrea Mitchell (at the tail of the Gregory videostream) observed. "Musharraf knows that the US needs him as much as he needs the US."
ABC focused on the new freedom found by al-Qaeda to regroup now that Pakistani forces have withdrawn. Jonathan Karl, traveling with Cheney, was told by unidentified "US officials" that they are "alarmed" by the revitalized training camps in Waziristan. Brian Ross in New York reported that Cheney had a top CIA spy fly into Islamabad to "personally present" Musharraf with secret satellite images pinpointing the location of the bases. Ross' unnamed spook sources told him that both a foiled plot against airlines in London and the successful plot against London subway trains were hatched there. Ross predicted that the US would "violate the sovereignty of a supposed ally" and infiltrate to attack the bases without Musharraf's permission.
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