Perhaps, despiteÂ all the evidence, you still believe that Pakistan is an authentic American ally, against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Dexter Filkins’ remarkable story in this week’sÂ New York Times MagazineÂ ought toÂ cure you of any such notions:
So here was Namdar â€” Taliban chieftain, enforcer of Islamic law, usurper of the Pakistani government and trainer and facilitator of suicide bombers in Afghanistan â€” sitting at home, not three miles from Peshawar, untouched by the Pakistani military operation that was supposedly unfolding around us.
What’s going on? I asked the warlord. Why aren’t they coming for you?
“I cannot lie to you,” Namdar said, smiling at last. “The army comes in, and they fire at empty buildings. It is a drama â€” it is just to entertain.”
Entertain whom? I asked.
“America,” he said.
Which means, despite the billions in aid Washington gives Islamabad, the job of fighting extremists in Pakistan hasÂ fallen on the shoulders of the American military. Hence this morning’s report: “Five missiles fired from an American pilotless drone aircraft Monday hit a large compound in North Waziristan belonging to one of Pakistan’s most prominent Taliban leaders.”
[Photo: AP / BBC]
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