But will he be able to rein in the jihadists who have so much power and influence in Pakistan, even at the highest levels of government? “Zardari says global terror Pakistan’s priority,” by Nahal Toosi for AP, September 4 (thanks to Mackie):
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) “” Pakistan’s presidential front-runner said in a newspaper column Thursday he stands with the U.S. against international terrorism, comments that appeared amid growing furor over an American-led cross-border attack in Pakistani territory.
The raid in the South Waziristan tribal region was the first known foreign ground assault in Pakistan against a Taliban haven. The Pakistani government summoned the U.S. ambassador to protest the incursion, which officials said killed at least 15 people, including civilians.
An American official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of cross-border operations, confirmed to The Associated Press that U.S. troops conducted the raid Wednesday about a mile beyond the Afghan frontier.
The boldness of the thrust fed speculation about the intended target. But it was unclear whether any extremist leader was killed or captured in the operation, which occurred in one of the militant strongholds dotting a frontier region considered a likely hiding place for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahri.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi condemned the attack in an impassioned speech to lawmakers Thursday, saying it “violated the sovereignty of Pakistan.” He also said “no important terrorist or high-value target” was killed.
“Innocent citizens, including women and children, have been targeted,” Qureshi said. The ministry’s spokesman said officials had no indication U.S. forces captured anyone in the raid.
Pakistan’s Senate and National Assembly passed resolutions Thursday condemning the attack. […]
“We stand with the United States, Britain, Spain and others who have been attacked,” wrote Zardari, whose wife was killed in a gun and suicide blast in December. “Fundamentally, however, the war we our fighting is our war. This battle is for Pakistan’s soul.”
A lawmaker from the chief opposition party, that of ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on Thursday blasted the U.S. for the attack.
“The American war against terrorism has become a war against Pakistan, and the killing of people by them at Angoor Ada is a clear example of it,” Zafar Ali Shah said….