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The Enemy Within (2013) – Inside Pakistan’s Desperate War With The Taliban

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Out of bounds for most Pakistanis, this report gains rare access to a deeply troubled corner of Pakistan. The army claims it has South Waziristan under control, but is it a ticking time bomb of extremism?

In a military hospital in Islamabad, hundreds of “profoundly damaged and disabled” soldiers are being treated. They’ve come from the western tribal belt, where for the last nine years Pakistan has been waging a largely hidden war against extremists. “There has been this double game that has gone on for many years, of Pakistan supporting the NATO presence in Afghanistan and at the same time allowing the Afghan Taliban to operate against the NATO forces”, explains Pakistan’s foremost expert on Islamists in the region, Ahmed Rashid. He claims the government’s duplicity has radicalised a local variant of the Taliban. “There is now a full-scale extremist movement in Pakistan that is trying to overthrow the State.” The agents of some of the worst acts of global terrorism inhabit this remote frontier. Yet many local villagers claim life under the Taliban “was normal” and “nobody was afraid”. They argue the army intervention in the region has only been destructive. In an attempt to win hearts and minds, the army has opened a high school for girls, which aid workers argue is “critical for countering extremism”. However Pakistan’s Taliban vow they’re determined “to escalate the war”.

ABC Australia – Ref: 5930

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