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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Pakistan Mosque Siege

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UNCLAS TOKYO 003181

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - PAKISTAN MOSQUE SIEGE

1. LEAD STORIES: Most Thursday morning papers
front-paged a panel discussion among the heads of seven
main political parties in Tokyo on Wednesday one day
before the official start of the campaign for the July
29 Upper House election.

2. "Storming of Mosque: The Danger of Relying on Force"
The liberal Asahi editorialized (7/12): "The crisis at
the Red Mosque in Islamabad came to a tragic end, with
more than 60 fatalities.... After 9/11, Pakistan ended
its support for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and
shifted course to cooperate with the US-led war on
terrorism. It is a matter of course that the Pakistani
government cannot allow radicals to have free rein in
Islamabad. The question is whether the government's
response was appropriate.... The government shut off
the supply of electricity and water to the mosque
immediately after the students barricaded themselves
inside. It could have maintained the pressure while
taking the time to persuade the students to come out.
Instead, the government ordered its forces to storm the
mosque only seven days after the crisis began....
Public criticism of Musharraf has been rising, making
it no longer certain that he will be reelected in a
presidential race slated for later this year. Should
the political situation in Pakistan become more
unstable, this would have an adverse impact on
Afghanistan and the rest of Central Asia, making it
even more difficult for the international community to
work together to fight terrorism."

SCHIEFFER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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