Bhutto warns of foreign intervention if Pakistan fails to curb militancy

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto promised to use both economic and military means to defuse Pakistan's pro-Taliban insurgency, warning that "foreign forces" could invade unless the government halts spreading militancy. Bhutto was speaking in Pakistan's troubled northwest as she launched her campaign for January 8 parliamentary elections. She planned key talks Monday with another opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, who is urging a boycott of the vote. While playing on fears of a violation of Pakistani sovereignty, Bhutto's remarks also reflected her willingness to sustain unpopular military operations against al-Qaida and Taliban fighters in lawless tribal areas. "If Pakistan has no control in the tribal areas, then tomorrow foreign forces can come there," Bhutto said. She was apparently referring to US and NATO forces operating on the Afghan side of the border.