As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) takes command of overall international military operations in Afghanistan, commanders from five NATO countries whose troops have just fought the bloodiest battle with the Taliban since 2001 have asked their governments to get tough with Pakistan for the support and sanctuary that its security services provide the Taliban in the southern province of Balochistan.
The NATO report on Operation Medusa, the largest anti-Taliban set-piece battle that lasted from September 4-17 in the Panjwai district near the southern city of Kandahar, has demonstrated the extent of Taliban logistics capability and the clear involvement of Pakistan's Interservices Intelligence (ISI) in providing it.
However, NATO commanders from the United Kingdom, the United States, Denmark, Canada and the Netherlands are frustrated that even after Pakistani President Pervaiz Musharraf met with US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair last week, Western leaders are declining to call Musharraf's bluff.
"It is time for a
Ahmed Rashid is a journalist and author of the book "Taliban: Militant Islam and Fundamentalism in Central Asia."