RAY SUAREZ: Across Pakistan, there were increasingly violent anti-American demonstrations and a national strike as U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell arrived out of camera range.
Thousands of shopkeepers heeded the call of Muslim leaders to shutter their stores to protest the government's support of U.S.-led air attacks on neighboring Afghanistan, but many shops also remained open. In Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, protesters clashed with riot police who responded with teargas. In Quetta, close to the Afghan border, some 10,000 demonstrators rallied at the local cricket grounds. Over the weekend, hundreds tried to storm a Pakistani airfield that reportedly was opened to American planes. At least one person was killed and a dozen were injured. So far at least six demonstrators have been killed by Pakistani security forces.
In Washington, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld answered questions about increasing protests in Islamic countries.
DONALD RUMSFELD: It seems to me that there have been demonstrations-- in the countries that are having demonstrations-- well before September 11 and well before a week ago.
This is not something new. Second, that the sizes of those demonstrations have been, relative to the populations, and not something that is startling.
Third, there is no question but that we have a job to do as a country to make sure that the entire world understands that this is not against any religion, it is not against any country, it's not against any people. It is against terrorists. And to the extent that people who understand that are unhappy about the fact that we're against terrorists, it's just too bad.
RAY SUAREZ: While Pakistan's president, General Pervez Musharraf, has thrown his support to the U.S. strikes on the Taliban, he has pleaded for a short campaign. And he wants a say in the government which eventually replaces Afghanistan's ruling Taliban.
The one-week bombing campaign also has created a new surge of Afghan refugees heading to the Pakistan border. Musharaff has bolstered his support for the West by replacing key generals and intelligence chiefs sympathetic to the Taliban.
According to a Newsweek magazine commissioned poll, 51 percent of Pakistanis agree with Musharraf's policy of cooperating with the United States. Along with that slim support, the poll also reported some 83 percent also sympathize with the Taliban.
Shortly after Powell arrived in Pakistan, Indian officials confirmed they had resumed shelling in the disputed region of Kashmir after a ten-month lull. The two nuclear powers have fought three wars over Kashmir. There were also anti-American protests in Kashmir today.
President Bush had this message today for both countries.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I think it is very important that India and Pakistan stand down during our activities in Afghanistan -- stand down, for that matter, forever. But I am... I need to find out more about the report. I will find out more about the report. As you noted, our Secretary of State is in the region.
One reason he's there is to talk to both sides about making sure that there is no...that if there are tensions, and obviously there are, that they be reduced, and that we are mindful that activities around Kashmir could create issues in that part of the region, particularly as we're conducting our operations in Afghanistan.
RAY SUAREZ: After his meeting with Pakistani officials, Secretary of State Powell travels to India tomorrow.
RAY SUAREZ: For more on Secretary Powell's trip to Pakistan and India we get three perspectives. Dennis Kux is a retired State Department official who specialized in South Asian affairs. He is the author of The United States and Pakistan, 1947-2000: Disenchanted Allies. Mansoor Ijaz is an investment banker and frequent op-ed columnist for international publications. His parents emigrated to the United States in 1960 from Pakistan shortly before he was born. And Samina Ahmed is a citizen of Pakistan and a fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. She has written extensively about south Asian security issues.
Well, Samina Ahmed, let me start with you. What are Secretary Powell's main objectives, first in Pakistan?
SAMINA AHMED: Well, his main objective in Pakistan is going to be to make sure that the support that Musharraf is giving the U.S. coalition in the war against terrorism is sustained, and I think there is an underlying goal, of course: He would want to see restraint on the Pakistani side in its relationships with India, seeing that tensions have increased in the region so much after the 11th of September.
RAY SUAREZ: Dennis Kux?
DENNIS KUX: I think that's true. He wants to thank the Pakistanis for coming out as strongly as they have on our side. He also, I think, wants to consult with them in some detail on next steps in Afghanistan where Pakistan plays a very big role and I think as Samina said, he wants to assure them that they can count on American help. And finally, he will advise them in private-- I don't think this will be said in public as the president said-- to lower tensions on Kashmir.
RAY SUAREZ: Mansoor Ijaz.
MANSOOR IJAZ: I think what I would add to what our other guests have said is the following: That we have to remember that the genesis of this trip was an attack a few days after the September 11th attacks here in the United States on the parliament building in Srinagar, Kashmir, which is the capital of the Indian-held side of Kashmir. In that attack a very significant portion of the building was destroyed and 40 people were killed.
The Indians complained very loudly that this was effectively terrorism and that if the United States was going to stamp out terrorism in Afghanistan, they better do it in the foothills of Kashmir and Pakistan as well. So I think one of the things that Secretary Powell is going to do is ask General Musharraf to find a way to use whatever influence he has with the... these radical groups that are operating in Kashmir, and I want to point out that these are groups that have essentially Arabized the conflict. These are not self-indigenous movements in that sense.
But he's going to have to use his influence to calm the people down so there won't be a shelling across the border, so there won't be a need for India to raise the ante every time.
RAY SUAREZ: Well, Mansoor Ijaz as the Secretary travels from Pakistan to India, there will be a lot written and a lot said about the differences between the two countries but do they have a lot in common when it comes to looking North to Afghanistan? Do they both have interests that can be satisfied by an eventual outcome there?
MANSOOR IJAZ: I think the answer to that is yes, but they arrive at... they arrive at those interests in a very different way.
India obviously is a growing economic enterprise and has an enormous thirst for cheap energy, whether it's from Iran or the Central Asian republics and Afghanistan provides a very cheap route for that fuel to get to them. And Pakistan is a great staging ground to have oil refineries and gas refineries and things of that nature.
But the problem is that India for the past decade or so has aligned its policy in Afghanistan with the Iranians and with the Russians. And that policy was designed to encourage the Northern Alliance, the people that are fighting for Kabul right now, to essentially take over. So I think they arrive at their objectives in very different ways. That's the thing that needs to be kept in mind.
RAY SUAREZ: Dennis Kux, do you agree with that analysis?
DENNIS KUX: Not fully. I think that Pakistan up until very recently has wanted to have Afghanistan as a client state, and this is why they supported the Taliban. They didn't create them. They wanted Afghanistan -- an Afghanistan that would provide them with what they called strategic depth against India.
General Musharraf has had to do a 180 in recent days. First he, if you remember in his speech in I think it was September 17th, he defended the Taliban. But then the Taliban, by their own action really read themselves out of the... by stonewalling the Pakistanis in refusing to hand over bin Laden, they wrote themselves out of the ballgame. He is now...
He has now dropped the Taliban and has been talking about trying to form a new government in Afghanistan using the former king and other Pashtuns. So Pakistan now is hoping for a friendly government but not necessarily a client state.
India's interest historically has been to cause frankly to... They've had friendly relations with Afghanistan before the Soviets were there and part of it was to cause trouble for Pakistan. So I think right now both of them I think would be happy if the swamps were drained.
RAY SUAREZ: Samina Ahmed.
SAMINA AHMED: Yes, but I think one needs to understand something, and that's the geography of the region. Pakistan has a border with Afghanistan.
Pakistan shares a common people, Pashtuns, the majority population in Afghanistan. In fact, there are a larger number of Pashtuns as they're called on the Pakistani side of the border.
There's also a history. Afghanistan has claimed Pakistani territory. It does not recognize the artificial border as it calls it that the British drew separating colonial India from the state of Afghanistan. So there's a historical context in which one has to look at Pakistani interests in Afghanistan.
And I agree with Dennis that Pakistan has always intervened in Afghanistan, not just with the Taliban but systematically since the '40s because it has wanted a sympathetic government in Kabul.
As far as the Indian fact is concerned the problem is just this: India has no direct interest in Afghanistan. If it does have a direct interest, it is to a considerable extent making sure that Pakistan doesn't meet its own objectives in that state.
DENNIS KUX: I agree with Samina on that last point that India has to be very careful not to get too involved in Afghanistan because that's sort of like a red flag before the bull for Pakistanis.
RAY SUAREZ: Let me talk a little bit more about the conditions on the ground that will face... that face Secretary Powell now on this trip. American policy makers have been warning of a very long engagement, of a very long process in counseling patients among Americans. At the same time as General Musharraf is publicly calling for this conflict to be short. Samina Ahmed.
SAMINA AHMED: Well, I don't think that the U.S. government would want to prolong this conflict either.
There is a challenge that the U.S. faces: What comes after the Taliban? Can the U.S. at this point in time attack the Taliban in such a way that it can eliminate the Taliban? Yes, it can. Does the U.S. want to do so? I don't think so -- not until there is some kind of an arrangement in place that the U.S. feels will be able to sustain that state that it will not just totally descend into political chaos.
RAY SUAREZ: Mansoor Ijaz?
MANSOOR IJAZ: I think the thing you have to keep in mind is that this concept of strategic depth and all of that changed after September 11th. People have made a lot about that in Pakistani strategic design of Afghanistan. There's no question that at some point in the past that was the case.
But I don't buy that anymore because nuclear weapons and missiles that can get to India's most sensitive centers within, you know, less time than we're doing this interview in just don't lend themselves to a mechanism by which you have to worry about strategic depth anymore. You don't have to worry about launching bases because everything is already set up.
So I think what Pakistan really is worried about in Afghanistan is whether or not they can withstand the agitation on their streets long enough to be able to get through this and reap the economic rewards that the United States will heap on them if they can survive the internal combustion chamber that they're in right now.
SAMINA AHMED: I would totally actually disagree with that. Let me butt in at this point to say I would disagree with that for a simple region. The agitation in the streets isn't sufficient to overthrow the Musharraf regime. But the rewards, yes, I agree with that part of the statement that it would obviously want to reap the rewards of cooperating with the U.S...that's the one thing, but the other thing is also the rewards of having yet another sympathetic government in Afghanistan.
DENNIS KUX: I think there are two points to be made. Pakistan has a legitimate interest in wanting to have what I would call a friendly government in Afghanistan. And that's one that isn't made up just of the Northern Alliance. It's one that also involves the Pashtuns, who as Samina indicated, you know, are also a major group inside Pakistan. They're ethnic brothers on both sides of the line. So I think we have to be very careful about that. I think we have been.
The other point is the internal situation in Pakistan. As long as the disturbances are contained in the Pashtun areas, in Peshawar, in Balukistan, Northern Balukistan, and in Karachi where you have a lot of Pashtuns living, the government will be okay. The danger lies in the Punjab. That's what the religious parties... Where they would like to stir trouble. So far they haven't succeeded.
RAY SUAREZ: This is the area near the border with India?
DENNIS KUX: Yes but it's the heartland of Pakistan. It isn't because it's the border near India that matters. In the past the Pakistan army has always moved, the two times it's moved to overthrow governments in '69 and then again in '77 when there were disturbances in the street and it looked like the state was in danger.
That is the sort of nightmare scenario for General Musharraf. So far it hasn't happened. And I would agree with Samina. I think he can keep the lid on. But the longer you have bombing in Afghanistan, the more civilian casualties you have, the more sympathy there will be, I think, in Pakistan; the easier it will be for the fundamentalists to raise a stir.
RAY SUAREZ: Mansoor Ijaz, let me close with you. Look ahead to General Powell's visit to India and what he may have to say that's a little different to the Indians.
MANSOOR IJAZ: I think the most important thing that he has to say to the Indian prime minister is that this is a global crisis. It is one that's... whose magnitude and whose strategic consequences are such that we can't have a situation in which India even takes the slightest agitation as a reason to go calling on General Musharraf's door with their guns and their bullets instead of their olive branches extended.
I think that's where he's going to have to focus his energy but the Indians are acting like spurned lovers right now where they were so close to getting everything on track with the United States and all of a sudden this, you know, tragedy came in the middle and the entire wedding is off, so to speak, or it's at least postponed. I think that's something that the Indian government has to sit down and think very carefully about.
They have their internal problem as well. They're a democracy. And they have to essentially figure out whether there's a way for Vajpayee to convince his own hard line others that engagement with Pakistan is still worth the while.
RAY SUAREZ: Mansoor Ijaz, Dennis Kux, Samina Ahmed, thank you all.