Nuclear 7-Eleven=Major Non-NATO Ally
The New York Times has the details:
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell praised Pakistan's handling of a sweeping nuclear proliferation scandal during a visit here on Thursday and announced that the Bush administration would designate the country a "major non-NATO ally."
Once it is formally conferred by President Bush, the status will give Pakistan added diplomatic prestige and greater access to American military technology, surplus defense equipment and training, State and Defense Department officials said.
The United States and Pakistan are still working out the details of $1.5 billion in long-term military assistance, and the new status will give the Pakistanis access, for instance, to American counterterrorism research projects that could be used in the offensive against Al Qaeda operatives along the Afghan-Pakistani border.
Pakistan is the fifth Islamic country to receive the title, after Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain and Kuwait. Japan, South Korea, Argentina, Thailand, the Philippines, Israel, Australia and New Zealand also enjoy this status.
Guess Pakistan could have used the counterterrorism stuff today. As for the handling of the nuclear scandal--you've gotta be kidding me. That's like praising the Genovese family for their work handling gambling and drugs...
Take another look at the Islamic countries that are "major non-NATO allies." Real bastions of democracy, eh? (sarcasm)