Bajaur and the Taliban

April 24, 2010

FARGO: This is with reference to Farhat Taj’s piece of April 23 titled ‘Has Bajaur been cleared of the Taliban?’ The fact of the matter is that Fata has been kept in the Dark Ages and no effort has been made by any government to develop it. Prior to 1947 the region was basically treated as a buffer by the British between their empire and the Soviets and that policy continues to this day.

However, now it is not so much a buffer but a safe haven for militants who are used by the establishment to fight proxy wars on its behalf. That may perhaps help explain why the Taliban have been so successful in targeting lashkars raised by the government against it. And it is in that context that one needs to see the allegations made by the locals that hidden hands (and these are not foreign ones) support the Taliban.