Mark LeVine is disturbed by the tendency of Barack Obama and other US politicians to lump the Taliban together with al-Qaeda. The latter, he says is an international terrorist organization. The Taliban in contrast is a “territorially rooted” “ethno-nationalist” movement.
Aljazeera International on Mawlana Fazlullah, the number 2 man in the Tehrik-i Taliban or Pakistani Taliban.
The Tehrik set off a bomb Monday at Kohat in an apparent attempt to free prisoners from a convoy.
The Taliban also kidnapped 30 police officers and army troops in the rugged Swat Valley.
A planned Pakistani army operation against the Tehrik has been called off while the Parliament in Islamabad debates policy toward the restive northwest.
Pakistani PM Yousef Raza Gilani is exploring using tribal chieftains against the militants.
Baitullah Mahsud of the Tehrik-i Taliban has threatened the secular nationalist government of the Awami National Party, which represents Pathans or Pushtuns who reject religious radicalism. The ANP won the provincial elections in the North-West Frontier Province that abuts the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
In Afghanistan, fighting between Afghan army troops supported by NATO close air support killed 40 Pushtun guerrillas in Ghazni province.
Barnett Rubin on globalization and corrupt states.