Taliban 2.0

clipped from www.nytimes.com

When I met Rehman in Peshawar in the fall we sat outside on plastic lawn furniture in the shade of a large oak tree. He rubbed a strand of chunky, orange prayer beads, and we discussed the changing leadership in the borderlands of Pakistan. In the past five years, more than 150 pro-government maliks, or tribal elders, had been killed by the Taliban. Oftentimes, the Taliban dumped the bodies by the side of the road for passers-by to see, with a note, written in Pashto, pinned to the corpse’s chest, damning the dead man as an American spy. “When the jihad in Afghanistan started,” Rehman told me, “the maliks and the old tribal system in Afghanistan ended; a new leadership arose, based on jihad. Similar is the case here in the Tribal Areas. The old, tribal system is being relegated to the background, and a new leadership, composed of these young militants, has emerged.” He added, “This is something natural.”

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Published in: on January 12, 2008 at 11:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

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