Monday, March 20, 2006


More good news from the front

Declan Walsh in the nGaruida A powerful new militia dubbed "the Pakistani Taliban" has effectively seized control of swaths of the country's northern tribal areas in recent months, triggering alarm in Islamabad and marking a big setback in America's "war on terror".The militants are strongest in North and South Waziristan, two of seven tribal agencies on the border with Afghanistan. Strict social edicts have been handed down: shopkeepers may not sell music or films; barbers are instructed not to shave beards. Yesterday a bomb blew up a radio transmitter in Wana, taking the state radio off the air.... Analysts say the Pakistani Taliban is a loose alliance of tribal militia operating under radical clerics such as Sadiq Noor and Abdul Khaliq. Many are angered by heavy-handed Pakistani military attacks against suspected al-Qaida hideouts, which are thought to have killed hundreds of civilians over the last two years. Swapping the Taliban from controlling Afghanistan (rugged country, goats, opium) to Pakistan (rugged country, goats, nukes) does not seem like progress to me.
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