Pakistan: Now or Never?

Perspectives on Pakistan

On either side of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border: Bajaur and Kunar


damadolaWhat is going on in Kunar and Bajaur, two neighbouring regions on either side of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border?

NPR has a view from the Afghan side in this piece written from the perspective of U.S. troops fighting in Kunar. (h/t The Captain’s Journal) Key takeaways are the level of mistrust about the Pakistanis, driven by the suspicion its military is supporting the Taliban, and the presence of a massive but newly abandoned CIA post there.

First the mistrust.  According to NPR, American officials acknowledge that the Pakistan Army had made significant gains in fighting the Taliban in Bajaur but still wanted them to do more to stop militants crossing over into Kunar. “Elements of the Taliban and al-Qaida are believed to cross the border at this point from safe havens inside Pakistan.”

Yet having been to Bajaur in April, I have heard the same complaint from the Pakistani commander on the other side. In his view, the Americans need to do more to stop militants from using Kunar as a base from which to attack Pakistan. (The Pakistanis still seem to be making the same complaint, judging by this article in the Boston Globe.)

Give us bin Laden, Britain tells Pakistan


It’s the kind of language, or perhaps more accurately the tone, that can test the patience of any nation.

You have had eight years,  you should have been able to catch Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri,  British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is reported to have said about Pakistan in an interview with the BBC following a conversation with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari over the weekend.