Pakistan Doubles Down Against the Taliban

It used to be obsessed only with India. But the army and public opinion have now turned against the enemy within

Sarah Caron / Polaris

A Pakistani soldier in the tribal regions aims at hills where Taliban militants seek shelter in caves.

The letter was simple and direct. "To the brave and honorable people of the Mehsud tribe," it started, in both Urdu and Pashtu, the two languages of Pakistan's troubled tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan. "The operation [by the Pakistan army] is not meant to target the valiant and patriotic Mehsud tribes but [is] aimed at ridding them of the elements who have destroyed peace in the region." Dropped from helicopters above the mountain scrubland of South Waziristan the day before 28,000 Pakistani troops went in to wrest control of a militant stronghold, the letter was signed by General Ashfaq...

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