Pakistan is in the midst of a heated debate on continuing military operations against the Taliban in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), especially after the brutal killing of 23 army soldiers last month.
More than 300 U.S. drone attacks have killed 2,160 militants and 67 civilians in Pakistan since 2008, according to Pakistani defence ministry data. But people living in the affected areas are now questioning these figures, asking why they never get to know the names of the militants or see the bodies.
Pakistanis are no strangers to sports-related violence; in fact, many have come to expect scuffles and conflict, especially following a major cricket match. In the country’s northern Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), however, cricket has become a tool to promote peace.
The new round of a terror campaign by Taliban militants against liberal politicians and health workers has led to fresh alarm within government and civil society. Many see this as a ploy to postpone elections due mid-2013.
As shock and outrage over the Taliban’s shooting of young Malala Yousafzai - a female activist - subsides, a new question has begun to make its rounds among political commentators in Pakistan: whether or not the government should launch an offensive against militants along the country’s border with Afghanistan.
Rashid was 12 years old when he picked up a gun and received armed training in Pakistan. He was caught by the Indian forces in 1992 and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. Five years later when he wished to return to a normal life, everyone turned away from him.
The violence that killed thousands in Kashmir during the turbulent 1990s has eased; now killer roads are taking their toll.