MUSHARRAF’S LAST STAND?….What’s up with the recent peace deal between the Pakistani government and the Taliban-friendly tribal leaders in Waziristan, the area on the Afghanistan border that’s home to most of the al-Qaeda leaders who fled after the American invasion? Here is the Asia Times:

With a truce between the Pakistani Taliban and Islamabad now in place, the Pakistani government is in effect reverting to its pre-September 11, 2001, position in which it closed its eyes to militant groups allied with al-Qaeda and clearly sided with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

….The truce between Islamabad and the Pakistani Taliban in Waziristan has been a bitter pill for Washington to swallow, although Pakistan’s pledge to allow foreign troops based in Afghanistan hot pursuit into a limited area in Pakistan softens the blow a bit.

That sums up most of the conventional wisdom I’ve read. But then there’s India Defense, which claims the whole thing was orchestrated by America’s very own General John Abizaid:

Sources in Rawalpindi ? the Headquarters of the Pakistani Army ? indicate that the plan was directly dictated by Abizaid during his recent visit to Pakistan, and is said to put both the Musharraf Regime and War Against Terror in more secure positions.

….Pakistani analysts argue that the granting of ‘hot pursuit’ into Pakistani territory to the United States Forces in the Taliban controlled FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) was one of Musharraf’s last remaining cards….and with this concession to the American forces in Afghanistan Musharraf may well and truly won himself more time in office.

I haven’t the faintest idea which of these analyses is true. Maybe both, to some degree. But I thought it was worthwhile to at least point out that there are multiple interpretations of what’s going on here. Stay tuned.