October 12, 2011:
Afghan Taliban who have been hiding out in Quetta (southwest Pakistan) for the last decade, have been running out of money. Foreign contributions dried up years ago, and in the last year, the drug gangs that took up a lot of the slack have been hammered hard by a NATO offensive. So the exiled Afghan Taliban have turned to kidnapping. In most cases they go after aid workers, even if they are Pakistanis. This is less likely to upset the Pakistani government, and aid organizations can come up with several hundred thousand dollars for each of their employees. In one case, Pakistani government bureaucrats were taken. It's unclear if the government paid, but there were apparently some harsh words for the Taliban, who seem to have blamed that one on a renegade group. Lately, there has been one kidnapping a month, and that appears to have brought in enough cash to deal with the current crises.