'Musharraf refuses to crack down on Taliban'

US President George W. Bush's alliance with Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf came under fire Thursday at a hearing in the House of Representatives on human rights as a Republican lawmaker said: "The United States should not be supporting a military dictatorship" in the South Asian country. Shortcomings in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Uzbekistan were the designated subjects of the House subcommittee hearing, and a panel of witnesses did not spare the three countries severe criticism. But an official of Human Rights Watch added Pakistan to the mix, with a scorching description of the Musharraf government as "the most egregious, and harmful, example of a human rights double standard in American foreign policy today." Tom Malinowski, of the private group's Washington office and a former State Department official, excoriated Bush for supporting Musharraf "against anyone who criticizes his continued dictatorial rule over Pakistan."