Top US officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have been calling for the military to go after the militants in these regions.
All this comes at a time when Pakistan’s government is already under a great deal of domestic criticism.
This is mainly due to increased missile strikes by the US targeting Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders in the tribal areas.
These have turned a sometimes ambivalent tribal population against the Pakistan military.
Analysts say the tribesmen see the strikes, which have claimed more lives of civilians than of militants, as contiguous with the military operation.
I was imagining a scenario where the roles were reversed back on September 11th 2001. How different everything would be. If an extremist group of fundamentalist Christians had crashed a cargo plane full of explosives into The Great Mosque in Mecca. And now, almost a decade on, unmanned drones adorned with Islam’s Crescent Moon are levelling homes in Texas and Utah. Sometimes, killing sympathisers and extremists. More often, killing regular American families.
Can you imagine how much pressure the world would need to put on the US government to make them turn a blind eye to this bombing campaign? Which is exactly what America expects of the Pakistani authorities.
And would the people of America see these raids as justified? Or would they instead swear bloody vengeance on the perpetrators, and view the complicity of their own government as the most despicable betrayal in American history?
Expecting the government of Pakistan to accept the regular killing of innocent civilians — people whose interests they are supposed to represent — by a foreign military. Even when that killing is done in error…
It’s unreasonable. And it is a demonstration, among many, of the psychotic nature of The War Against Terror and of modern politics in general.