Dear Sir, PAKISTAN is an unreliable ally in the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Former President General Musharraf may have persuaded the US & some of its allies that they were committed to the cause but this was never the case. Pakistan is completely compromised and cannot play a constructive role (in the Western sense) because the country as a whole is pro Taliban. The new Government is having to admit its dependence on extremist support. They have had to agree to the application of strict Sharia Law in Swat Valley close to Afghanistan and adjacent to the disputed Indian controlled Kashmir. A tinder box location. It is important to realize that this extreme version of Islamic Law involves the closing of girls schools, approving the beating of wives, head & hand cutting etc the type of regime that we (and supposedly they) are fighting in Afghanistan. There is a difference of almost 600 years between the Christian calendar 2009 A.D. and the Islamic 1430 A.H. Sometimes one feels that gap reflects life in outlying parts of the country compared to their major city centers. It is salutary to reflect on our progress since our own 1430s when we burnt alive not only foreign Saints like Joan of Arc but any member of the English public who dared to own a bible (the Lollards).