Farhat Taj represents a view that is considered quite unpopular in Pakistan. Even if we do not agree with some of the points she frequently raises, the following is an important read to appreciate the complexities of Pakhtun idenity, the Taliban phenomenon, Taliban sympathizers in Pakistan, and all these factors are currently interacting within the Federation of Pakistan (AZW)
By Farhat Taj
Hate for the US is the problem of Imran Khan or his anti-Pakhtun allies. It is not the problem of the people of FATA. Their problem is occupation of their land by the international jihadi gangs. There are clear signs that the people of FATA are cooperating with the Americans in liberating their land from the jihadi occupation
Interviewer: Jayshree Bajoria, Staff Writer, Council on Foreign Relations December 14, 2009
President Barack Obama’s strategy approving a U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan called success there “inextricably linked to our partnership with Pakistan.” But the U.S.-Pakistan relationship is riddled with problems. U.S. officials are concerned about terrorist safe havens in Pakistan’s border areas, and there are reports that the United States may expand its covert airstrikes in the border region. In Pakistan, there are concerns about U.S. plans to withdraw from the region starting in 2011. Five independent Pakistani experts assess Obama’s strategy, explore the largely negative response in Pakistan, and discuss the military and political pitfalls of the plan.
For journalist and author Ahmed Rashid and Asia Society fellow Hassan Abbas, Obama’s plan fails to address the question of India, Pakistan’s biggest security concern. Former Pakistani ambassador to the United States Maleeha Lodhi warns that military escalation–particularly the expansion of aerial strikes in Pakistan—could inflame an already fragile security situation. Hasan-Askari Rizvi, a political analyst, and Shuja Nawaz, director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council in Washington, cite concerns in Islamabad that there is no plan for Pakistan after U.S. forces quit Afghanistan. Continue reading