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Pakistan's Untamed Frontier

Army’s Anti-Terror Offensive Finds Little Support in Semi-Autonomous Tribal Areas. The village market near this town in northwestern Pakistan looked sleepy, but turbaned tribesmen lounged in the shadows of its tea shops, each with an assault rifle slung over his shoulder or cradled familiarly in his lap. Just past the market, a drooping chain with a lone sentry marked the boundary between Pakistan proper and the semi-autonomous tribal area bordering Afghanistan, where an anti-terrorist offensive by the army in March left more than 100 people dead and the region in turmoil. “The government says al Qaeda is over there, but that is only because of American pressure,” declared Zakim Khan, an elder of the Kabarkhel clan, surrounded by armed men as he spoke. “There is no al Qaeda. There are no foreign terrorists. The army is bombing the homes and families of anyone who has a beard. If they keep doing these attacks, the entire tribal belt will rise up in resistance.” Full Story

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