Tribal Areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan Interconnectivity And Spillover Effects

1. Introduction

1.1. Afghanistan particularly its area south of Hindukush range and Pakistan’s tribal area, North West Frontier Province and northern portion of Baluchistan, collectively constituting the Pathan majority land lying between the Hindukush range and the Indus river, have remained a focal point not only for historians but also for those trying to extend their imperial borders. These extensions have been either to the south or east as in the case of earlier conquerors from Central Asia and the USSR in recent times or to the west or north as by the Imperial British in the 19th and 20th centuries. Dominant civilisations always expand in search for security, stability of their frontiers and to safeguard their economic and commercial interests. Such great movements are well known in history; they continue until they either overrun their strength as in the case of USSR in Afghanistan, or until they find a formidable wall in the form of an equally stable civilisation, or by reaching a natural frontier such as a great mountain range, desert or the sea.
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Pakistan In Crisis

This Article appeared in Daily Dawn on  July 22nd, 2008.

PAKISTAN is heading towards a political meltdown. It has fallen into a state of non-governance in the face of grave threats to its security. The situation can change if the country reinvents and rediscovers itself miraculously at this eleventh hour. This article is not designed to create despondency but to give an objective assessment of what is happening within the country and outside. An ostrich-like attitude will not really help.

The fact is that Talibanisation is taking over the country rapidly due to the lack of any tangible counter-strategy from the government’s side. The religious extremists are openly challenging the government’s writ every day and personnel of the police, Frontier Constabulary, Frontier Corps and other security agencies are being killed or kidnapped by the dozens. The government appears to be clueless about how to respond to the crisis. The extremists are not considerable in number but through sheer terror tactics they are forcing more and more people into submission. The area under their control is increasing day by day and that under the government’s jurisdiction is shrinking.
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