Ordinary Pakistanis, and especially the people of Punjab, have little idea of the problems faced by Pakhtuns, in particular those who live in Fata. Much of their suffering has to do with the flawed policy of ‘strategic depth’ still adhered to by the army under which the Fata region is used as a safe haven for the Taliban.
Take the case of Waziristan where the state has willingly surrendered its writ to the Taliban. More than 300 pro-government elders have been killed by the Taliban and many local people believe that this could not have been done without help from the establishment. The reason that the Taliban are able to recruit in Fata also has to do with the general economic deprivation of the area — there is no local government and unemployment is high. We need to stop playing games with the people of Fata.
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