Must Read

PrintPrint EmailEmail ShareShare CiteCite
Style:MLAAPAChicagoClose

loading...

The Economist: The Last Frontier

December 30, 2009

Share

The Economist analyzes the history of Waziristan and Pakistan's efforts to control it.

“YOU should enjoy this,” said a Pushtun from Waziristan, the most remote and radicalised of the tribal areas in North-West Pakistan that border Afghanistan, as he proffered a bottle of Scottish whisky. It was an excellent Sutherland single-malt; but the man was referring to the bottle’s more recent provenance, not its pedigree.

He had been given it by a fellow Waziristani working for Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. This spy had received the illegal grog from an American CIA officer. Your correspondent’s friend returned homewards, Scotch in hand, driven by another Waziristani, who is also employed as a fixer by al-Qaeda.

Waziristan, home to 800,000 tribal Pushtuns, is a complicated place. It is the hinge that joins Pakistan and Afghanistan, geographically and strategically. Split into two administrative units, North and South Waziristan, it is largely run by the Taliban, with foreign jihadists among them. If Islamist terror has a headquarters, it is probably Waziristan.

Full Text of Document

More on This Topic

Backgrounder

Iran's Nuclear Program

Author: Greg Bruno

Iran's nuclear program is believed to have steadily progressed, despite sharply increased concerns over its intentions and sanctions over its...

Analysis Brief

Time to Talk to Iran

Author: Greg Bruno

Talks in Geneva over Iran's nuclear program ended with Tehran vowing to cooperate with UN inspectors. However, analysts remain divided on how...

Expert Roundup

After the Iranian Uprising

Authors: Abbas Milani, Alex Vatanka, Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, and Steve Fairbanks

Violence and unrest following Iran's contested presidential vote on June 12 have raised new questions about the regime's long-term stability...