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McCain's 2007 Pakistan trip: bold move or needless risk?

His campaign reveals he made an unannounced trip to North Waziristan, where few Westerners dare to venture.

High-level meeting: Sen. John McCain met with Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's then president, on April 3, 2007, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

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Waziristan is one of the most dangerous places on Earth for Westerners, let alone US presidential candidates.

Isolated and mountainous, North and South Waziristan form part of Pakistan's tribal belt, a semiautonomous zone along the border with Afghanistan where Taliban fighters and an Al Qaeda remnant have found sanctuary. This region is often cited as a likely hiding place for Osama bin Laden. It is extremely rare for journalists - Pakistani reporters included - to venture there. Neither does the Pakistani military have free access to the entire region under agreements in place for more than a century.

So when GOP presidential candidate John McCain touted his travel to Waziristan to highlight his foreign policy credentials in last Friday's debate, it raised some eyebrows.


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