As Pakistan begins an all-out air and land assault on its own people and its president asks America for drones, we must ask: can Pakistan succeed in defeating the Taliban when America has not?We must consider that if America, with its military might, satellites and well-equipped soldiers has not been able to stop the Taliban from crisscrossing the Afghan-Pakistan border in the last seven years, we cannot expect Pakistan to be able to accomplish that for us.
As a child living in southern Pakistan, hundreds of miles away from Afghanistan, I used to watch the camel caravans of Afghans as they descended on our town at the beginning of winter. One or two families with children would be riding on a few camels as the men walked along. The rest of the camels would be carrying firewood to sell to the locals. Although that was forty years ago, the cultural ties between the two people are still essentially the same.
There is literally no border between Afghanistan and Pakistan or for that matter between Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Yes, there are soldiers on a couple of roads entering each country but overall, these are open borders.
People living on both sides of Afghanistan’s border are tribally and linguistically the same. They have crossed between the countries freely for centuries.
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