Violence broke out along the border in Afghanistan, in the tribal area Sarah and I visited in December 2004 called the Northwest Frontier Province.
Under pressure from the United States, the government has been trying since early 2002 to assert control over the tribal areas, whose forbidding mountainous terrain serves as refuge for Taliban and remnants of al-Qaeda and is considered a likely hiding place for Osama bin Laden and his top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri.
But the government campaign in the region, which has blended military force with development aid, has not always been welcomed by the Pashtun tribesmen who dominate the area and have resisted outside influence (emphasis by Shabbir) for centuries.
"Resisted outside influence" is really an understatement. "Never been successfully conquered and held" is more accurate. The concept that anyone using conventional weapons, including the Pakistani government, can gain control of that area while the Pashtun are there is absurd. Any study of history would tell you these people have kicked the ass of the British, the Mongols and the Russians. And frankly, since the Pakistanis have never tried to invade and hold that territory, they can notch them on their belt as well.
Those who do not read history….