October 13, 2007


Tribal revolt pushes Pakistan to brink (SAEED SHAH, 10/14/07, Scotland on Sunday)

A full-scale insurrection is taking hold in Waziristan, the most restive part of the tribal region which lies on the border with Afghanistan. It is an uprising not by a few foreign Taliban or al-Qaeda fighters, but the local population.

"Tomorrow they may declare the Islamic emirate of Waziristan," said Talat Masood, a retired general. "This is the greatest challenge since 1971 [when East Pakistan broke away to become Bangladesh]."

Last week, the tribal belt erupted into a full scale conflict between militants and Pakistani forces, claiming 250 lives.

In a massive escalation of the confrontation, Pakistani jets bombed civilian areas around the town of Mir Ali, in North Waziristan, where rebels were thought to be hiding. According to a local member of parliament, Maulana Nek Zaman, 55 civilians were killed.

"We know it because we buried them," Zaman said last week.

There are limits to what we can do to a portion of an ally's population that's bothering us. There are none on what we can do to an enemy state.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 13, 2007 6:45 PM
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