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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776
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When US Troops Leave Afghanistan

Herein lies the problem in Pakistan. The political class is simply unwilling to confront the Taliban which operates freely across much of the FATA region.

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Instead of the Pakistani government moving against these forces, they prefer passivity. Their reasoning is that once American troops leave Afghanistan in 2014, the antagonisms with the terrorists will decrease. All this overlooks the fact the Taliban have entrenched themselves in Pakistani territory by killing their opponents. They have, in essence, created a mini-Taliban state within Pakistan itself.

In the meantime, the government betrays the very people in whose defence it is obliged to act. Ordinary citizens in FATA are being surrendered and betrayed to the Taliban’s murderous rage so long as it does not rock the status quo in Islamabad.

More than 30,000 Pakistanis have died in terrorist attacks since 9/11. None has captured the popular consciousness of the nation in quite the way the shooting of Yousafzai has. One hopes this could prove to be a tipping point, finally stirring into action a political class mired in its own comfort.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Shiraz Maher

About the Author: Shiraz Maher holds a degree in History from the University of Leeds and an MPhil in Historical Studies from Cambridge University. After leaving university, he worked as a journalist, reporting on terrorism, radicalization and the Middle East. His writings have appeared in the Times, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Guardian, New Statesman, Prospect, Wall Street Journal and Standpoint.


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