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join the discussion: What are your reactions to this report on how Pakistan has become a breeding ground for terrorism?  What are the options for Pakistan -- and the U.S.?

Dear FRONTLINE,

The documentry was really great. It has helped to inform about the islamic terrorist to the world. I think U.S should not totally rely on Pakistan and Pakistani President to fight against terrorism.

Pakistan has always favored terrorism for their benefit. They openly support terrorism in Kashmir and other parts of world. We can take example of the hijacking of Indian Aeroplane from Kathmandu and the support the Pakistani provided to the Hijackers. The Hijacker was openly roaming around the street of Karachi. Therefore Pakistan is always a threat to world, they are always supporting terrorism. We can figure that out by looking at the interview of the Pakistani president. How he said after 2 years that they were lacking intelligence in the region where there were lots of terrorist within Pakistan.

Rajan Sharma
Findlay, Ohio

Dear FRONTLINE,

As a soldier who has just returned from Afghanistan, I sometimes get very frustrated by the American media. The evidence clearly concludes that the Taliban's present attacks and Al Qaeda's future existence is dependent on Pakistan's policies towards the tribal territories, and, more importantly, the US policies towards Pakistan. Despite this fact, I don't feel the US media gives this issue the attention it needs.

Personally, it's a huge, huge comfort to know that there are journalists that perceive this problem and are willing to investigate it, even if it jeopardizes their lives. Thank you for sifting through all the information and discovering knowledge. Thank you for looking past all the rhetoric and finding the facts. From the bottom of my heart, thank you FRONTLINE for this realistic and thorough report. It gives the American public a clear ideal of what's going on over there right now.

John Leitner
Gainesville, FL

Dear FRONTLINE,

No discussion of the Taliban, terrorism, or al-Qaeda, is complete without considering one basic fact, which is alluded to in one of the interviews in documentary:

The funding for the Taliban and most Islamic extremism in the world does not come from an impoverished country like Pakistan, but rather from the wealthy oil-rich states of the Arabian Peninsula, primarily our closest Arab friend and ally, Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia, the arterfy feeding our American arms industry, 401K plan of our representatives and leaders in Washington, channels its revenues (fueled by our gas guzzling vehicles) to finance, indoctrinate, and train a standing Muslim army in the poor, suffing Islamic populations of the world.

Just follow the money. It starts in your pocket, goes to the Gulf when you fill up your SUV, and ends up putting bullets into American soldiers on the Afghan/Pakistani border.

D S
Detroit, MI

Dear FRONTLINE,

While the program was a great production,it seems to me that it just skimmed over the fact that the role of Saudi Arabia in establishing the "madrassahs" in Pakistan is the root cause of the problem.Why do the rest of the Islamic countries sit and watch the killings of fellow muslims in Afghanistan,Iraq or the "ethnic cleansing"in Eastern Europe?Should they not create a coalition of Islamic countries and denounce the militant groups that continue to promote chaos and war all over the world?

Some Muslims I know claim that the "Al Qaeda way" is not what the Koran teaches.So where is their collective voice?The irony is that many came to the West to enjoy freedoms that they lacked in their own countries and yet denigrate the ways of the West.If they feel so strongly about the wickedness of the U.S should they not live their "pious lives" in their own countries?Such hypocrisy!

Chicago, IL

Dear FRONTLINE,

Pakistan is fighting a rational war against terror. Pakistan has lost hundreds of its soldiers in the course. US and the world must assist Pakistan to reach its goals. They cared when we took down the soviets and later were left high and dry. It is sad to notice that some comment here from our Indian friends show irrational distortion. Pakistan is a moderate state, we do have issues but we are also addressing them aggressively.

And please note that India will always be living next to Pakistan, lets act like educated rational neighbors shall we... an unstable Pakistan will not go down alone so let us reach our economic goals together.

Kabir R

Dear FRONTLINE,

An excellent report on the current situation. It clearly illustrates that in many instances force is not the answer. The tribals have always viewed the outside world with suspicion and hostility this mind set has to change. Socio-economic development of the tribal areas is the best and cheapest policy option in the fight against extremism. In this regard the help of tribal elders should be enlisted. Small gestures like providing field clinics, clean water supply will have a profound affect on the ordinary people of that region and win the battle for hearts and mind.

Samir Syed
santa clara, Ca

Dear FRONTLINE,

As always Marty does a wonderful job. Even my fellow republicans at work are all praise for the they see as a nuetral view of the situation.

While it seems like a lot of going wrong.I see a light at the end of the tunnel for all parties involved. We (Including India) can victimize as much as we want and throw the blame that they cause us misery. The people in pakistan are in dire need of help from the outside world to show them that we care and that the loyalists and fanatics are not the only people they can fall back on. Let us rebuild a pakistan and a new era will begin. I fear that this obfusication of the real problem is leaving everybody's life in peril. Not to mention the plight of pakistani people (My Brethren).

Krishna Kumar
dibaru, Assam

Dear FRONTLINE,

I appreciated the distancing from the tiring old line of the current media.

We have to keep in mind that the General is our only choice in the area. If elections were to be held in Pakistan today we would see the same old inept and week politicians come to power with bigger gains by the islamic extremists. Do we really want to live with another repeat of the Palestinian elections, with Pakistani version of Hizbollah in power with nuclear aresenal at their disposal.

The two countries may be allies but their goals/interests are not necessarily the same. While we can tell them to get rid of the taliban from Waziristan, the Pakistanis have to live with them and actually try to deal with some of the most fierce fighters on the planet. The General has to look at his own house and the losses sustained before he can carry out any of the requests/order given by the US government. The documentary could use a further mention of the losses sustained and achievemnts of the Pakistanis trying to deal with this global menace.Great show....

Jim Ocell
San Antonio, Texas

Dear FRONTLINE,

just like to pay tribute to the journalistic team who produced this feature. fascinating story, yes, but above all a great piece of in-depth, high quality, crisp reporting. i simply complement and thank you. the only remaining question; how do we get more people to pay more attention to this, and other frontline stories - the current state of the political debate so desperately needs it!

paul hulshoff
new york, ny

Dear FRONTLINE,

Credits to PBS for posting this stunning,eye-opening documentary.It opens up several aveneues of discussion.

Firstly lets not forget the fact that throughout the 80s,US supported and funded several Afghan warriors and Jalauddin Haqqani was one of them.The CIA trained them in fighting the mainly US's war against the Soviets.Pakistan at that time too,became a frontline state and faced the brunt of the war in all ways possible.Pakistan supported the US in their war against the Soviets and just when the war was over,US left her high and dry while Pakistan was left to do the dirty work of clearing up the mess.

And now after 9/11,Pakistan was again used to fight another kind of war for the US.Were it not for Pakistan,America's secret wars could never have succeeeded and yet the country is always in the line of fire with Bush forever saying"I came here to see if Musharraf is doing enough or not".This is the discredit that America's so-called ally always get to have.Indeed the people in Pakistan think America cannot be trusted as a friend since it has left Pakistan high and dry in times of need.

Mustafa Z
Chicago, IL

Dear FRONTLINE,

Thanks for an excellent documentry. This documentary shows that the priority should be to focus more resources towards Afghanistan, and Pakistan should be helped in the war against terror.

It is interesting to see the perspective of people from India which is always biased and full of hatred towards Pakistan.

M. Ali
Vernon Hills, IL

Dear FRONTLINE,

You cannot fight the devil by taking help from the devil's friend.If US wants to fight the Taliban they should fight the Taliban in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

US must realize that Taliban and ISI are two sides of the same entity. If US needs help they should take it from reliable friends like India who have suffered from the same problem. US should realize that it cannot buy loyalty of Pakistanis by giving them money, debt relief and F16s.

Los Angeles, CA

Dear FRONTLINE,

Great program! The conflict in that region requires a political solution through jurga, loya jurga, et cetera. Perhaps not a US Republic styled democracy, but a tribal based and supported representative system of government for the entire country and not merely for one city elevating its de facto mayor as "president" of a nation.

Corruption, on every level in that current administration, is the prime reason that no progress is made in Afghanistan and why the drug crop is up 92%. After billions and billions of US taxpayer money wasted, stolen, et cetera, Kabul remains in the dark much of the day and fecal matter remains the dust of the day in Kandahar.

People speak of the Taliban as if they comprise some alien race, when they are in fact the indigenous peoples of the region. With a broad brush many seem to use the word "terrorist" as definitive. Maybe they are merely defending their land? I am sure the indigenous people of the region view us as the terrorists. The goal again in Afghanistan was/is?

John Anast
Springfield, New Jersey

Dear FRONTLINE,

i can write a whole thesis on this but will make it short:

1) musharraf in urdu does not stand for god of pakistan. he is only the president of the country. pakistani presidents get shot all the time. they probably have the highest number of presidents assasinated in history. and most of them come to power through a military coup. so tell me, how can a president like that save the world. the truth is, pakistan is a military state, and a president or a party is in power as long as he is in favor with the military.

2) the tribal pakistanis hate mainstream pakistanis. this includes musharraff, his ambassadors, his generals, and everyone in uniform who cant even understand any of the tribal languages. the reason is because the tribals have always been marginalized by the political elite of pakistan, which basically consists of the punjabi muslims and others who first created pakistan and became the founding political elite. jinnah, who created pakistan, he was originally from india. he had never step foot in the tribal areas. the tribals never wanted to be a part of pakistan. they were supporters of congress, actually wanted to be part of india, but the british who were responsible for the partition, what did they care.

3) lastly, ISI doesnt CONTROL any of the militant organisations. they seek help from each other, which they get because they have a common interest in kashmir. if it came to it, the militants wont hesitate to blow up the entire ISI if the need be. and the poor ISI, they never imagined anything like 9/11 and they never imagined they would be in this kind of shit for supplying a few aks and smuggling a few militants in kashmir.

MUNNA BHAI
baltimore, maryland

Dear FRONTLINE,

Was the west expecting too much from Pakistan in the Afghan campaign? Probably so because Pakistan like any other nation has interests that they will seek to protect.

Obviously, the Pakistan interest lies in keeping a good strategic balance between itself and India. It must have been an insult for Pakistanis to have President Bush visit Pakistan after promising India a major Nuclear deal.

In the end, there may be no good policy for the US in regards to Pakistan. The anti-American sentiment in Pakistan make it a balancing act for any Pakistani leader both serve the interests of the Pakistani people and the US. Musharraf is the best leader we probably will get

Doug Characky
Saugus, ca

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posted oct. 3, 2006

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