People across Pakistan, and even in the northwest, support the offensive against the local Taliban militants. But among refugees, and areas bearing the brunt of the influx, patience is wearing thin.
By Alex Rodriguez
Reporting from Mardan, Pakistan — Cradled in his father’s arms, 8-month-old Maaz Ayaz appeared listless and underweight.
A smudge of dirt marked the boy’s face. His father, Mohammed Ayaz, anxiously talked of how he and his wife could feed Maaz only tea and biscuits Continue reading
We are all Tamil and Pashtun today:
Ich bin ein Tamil and Pustun. We are all Tamil and Pashtun today, back in 1960s American President J.F Kennedy chanted for the freedom of Berliners. We should show our humanitarian solidarity with the civilian victims of terrorism in Tamil and Pashtun areas. Continue reading
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As an oddly smiling President Zardari of Pakistan stood behind a visibly concerned President Obama in the White House this week, one had to wonder what Mr. Zardari was smiling about. Seven thousand miles away, in the country over which he presides, the economy has tanked, the province of Baluchistan is in the grips of a secessionist movement, Karachi is embroiled in ethnic violence between Pashtuns and Urdu speakers, and that’s not even the most pressing problem this nation of 170 million people is facing. As I write this, tens of thousands of refugees are pouring out of the Swat valley in anticipation of a major military offensive by the Pakistani Army against the Taliban.
For weeks, headlines around the world have raised alarm about the proximity of the Taliban to the capital Islamabad, and analysts have puzzled over the curious detachment with which the civilian government and the Pakistani Army seemed to be observing the situation deteriorate. Now that the Pakistani army is finally engaging the Taliban, there is one question on everyone’s mind: Is Pakistan serious about this fight this time, or will it cut a deal with the militants, as it has done in the past with disastrous consequences? Continue reading