India-Pakistan: September 19, 2004

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The Pakistani army says it has cleared foreign (al Qaeda) fighters from the Pushtun border areas (Waziristan) along the east Afghan border. Some 70 foreigners were killed in a week of operations, plus a dozen or so Pakistani soldiers and civilians. But there are still several hundred foreign fighters still on the lose, mainly men from Chechnya and Central Asia. The army says it knows where these men have fled to, and will move on them next. The border areas north of Waziristan contain Pushtun tribes less receptive to Taliban activities. But the Baluchistan tribes that control the southern Afghan border, while not pro-Taliban, are more mercenary. For enough cash, all sorts of cooperation can be purchased. This is where bin Laden is thought to be hiding out. 

 

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