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The Taliban Are 70 Miles From Islamabad « The Washington Independent

I swear, I thought this week I’d be writing about U.S. efforts to train Pakistani forces in counterinsurgency. Really I did. You can ask my editors. I pitched the piece and everything. Made calls for it. Then all this torture stuff happened. Will I come back to the piece? Hopefully, yeah, but if I don’t do it soon, it might be a moot point, because the Pakistani Taliban keep getting closer and closer to the capital city of Islamabad. The Wall Street Journal:

Pakistan’s Taliban have seized control of another district in the country’s northwest just 70 miles from the capital after consolidating their hold on the Swat valley following a peace deal with the government, according to local government officials and residents.

The latest Taliban advance into the Buner district has spurred fears that the controversial accord, which allowed the militants to enforce Sharia law in Swat, has emboldened them to expand their influence.

At what point does the Pakistani government acknowledge that it doesn’t have a “peace deal”? It has an accord that allowed them to climb down from a military defeat and allowed the Pakistani Taliban to consolidate its gains and then march closer to the capital. The Journal cites government sources as declining to rule out military operations to take back Buner. But shouldn’t those be on-the-record promises to take it back?

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