DATE=10/13/1999 TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT TITLE=PAKISTAN, THE TALEBAN AND TERRORISM NUMBER=5-44500 BYLINE=NICK SIMEONE DATELINE=WASHINGTON CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The military coup Tuesday in Pakistan certainly did not catch the Clinton administration by surprise - for weeks it had received indications about increasing opposition to the government in Islamabad, and had warned against any grab for power. But as Correspondent Nick Simeone reports from Washington, the ouster of Pakistan's democratic government is raising concerns that the Islamic fundamentalism of the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan could now spread to a country that has long been a U-S ally against terrorism. TEXT: A top concern of the Clinton administration is how the coup in Pakistan led by General Pervez Musharraf will impact issues of concern to the United States. Pentagon Spokesman Ken Bacon identified these issues. /// BACON ACT /// One is counternarcotics, one is the extreme, is terrorism in Afghanistan. So there are reasons for us to have a dialogue with Pakistan. /// END ACT /// Pakistan has long supported Afghanistan's dominant Taliban faction, and U-S officials are concerned that instability could provide a fertile breeding ground for what one official calls the "Talibanization" of Pakistan. General Musharraf is not widely known in the West and some elements of the Pakistani military are believed to maintain close ties to the Taliban, which Washington accuses of supporting terrorism. Fareed Zakaria is managing editor of the influential magazine "Foreign Affairs." /// FIRST ZAKARIA ACT /// I do think there is a danger if the Pakistani military maintains close connections with the Taliban. It will become easier and easier for groups like that to gain power and access in Pakistani society. It's worth pointing out, however, that process is already taking place. /// END ACT /// But Paul Bremer, a former US Ambassador at large for counterterrorism, believes the Clinton Administration could find an ally in whatever Pakistani government takes shape if it sends the right signals. /// BREMER ACT /// It is true there are parts of the Pakistani military that if they wanted to, probably could at a minimum get our messages through to the Taliban. But it's certainly too early to know whether those parts of the military are going to be more or less prominent as a result of this coup and what their attitude will be toward the West. /// END ACT /// Mr. Bremer says that attitude will be influenced by they perceive to be the extent of Washington's hostility to the coup. Complicating matters is the fact that most military contacts between the United States and Pakistan were cut years ago because of the Pressler Amendment. The legislation requires suspension of military assistance to any country suspected of producing nuclear weapons. Former CIA director James Woolsey thinks this is wrong. /// WOOLSEY ACT /// General Musharraf is not known in the west. The reason is in part that we have cut ourselves off from contact with this generation of Pakistani military leaders by this ill-advised legislation back in the 1980's. It really ought to be repealed. /// END ACT /// Other analysts including Foreign Affairs editor Fareed Zakaria worry that the lack of U-S military relations with Pakistan may have unfortunate consequences. /// SECOND ZAKARIA ACT /// The United States is going to have very limited ability to remake Pakistan into a kind of liberal, democratic country. It's sad to say (it is) a fairly disfunctional state. /// END ACT /// So for the moment, the Clinton Administration is left to wait and watch to see what course Pakistan's new military rulers take, while calling for an early return to democracy. (Signed) NEB/NJS/TVM/gm 13-Oct-1999 15:54 PM EDT (13-Oct-1999 1954 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .