Afghanistan: Putting The Pressure on Pakistan

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February 15, 2006: President Karzai is in Pakistan to try and get more cooperation in shutting down pro-Taliban groups in Pakistan. Time and again, Afghan and U.S. troops find Taliban gunmen coming in from Pakistan, or fleeing back there. The border with Pakistan is long, and most of it runs through rough terrain, areas regularly crossed by, or with the help of, smugglers. Karzia wants Pakistan to come down hard on the Pakistani Pushtun tribes that are aiding the Taliban. Pakistan does not want another tribal war on their side of the border.

February 14, 2006: Taliban leader Mullah Shah Nazar was arrested in southern Afghanistan, shortly after his men had burned down a school. Nazar has been a provincial governor when the Taliban ruled the country. The spread of cell phones and anger against Taliban violence has made it more dangerous for the Taliban to move around in populated areas. The Taliban campaign to stop the education of girls has led to burning down many schools. When challenged by angry Afghans about this, the Taliban sometimes back off, and justify the school burnings because they heard that Christianity was being taught in the school.

February 13, 2006: In central Afghanistan, a roadside bomb hit an American vehicle, killing four U.S. troops.

February 12, 2006: In western Afghanistan, Sunni Islamic radicals attacked Shias celebrating the Ashura festival. At least a dozen died, and nearly a hundred were wounded over the last few days. Some 15 percent of the Afghan population is Shia, most of them concentrated in the west, especially around Herat.

On the Pakistan border, police found a supply of terrorist explosives being smuggled in a shipment of oranges.

 

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