Reporters on the Job

Under Bush's Gaze: Correspondent Owais Tohid says that the atmosphere in South Waziristan has changed markedly since his last reporting trip in October. The Pakistani and American military are pressuring locals to turn over Osama bin Laden and members of the Taliban leadership that are suspected to be hiding in this part of Pakistan (page 7).

"Everyone was tense this time. Traditionally, the tribal leaders are very good hosts, and last time I visited they insisted that I stay at their homes. This time they were polite. I was served tea, but there were no offers to spend the night," says Owais.

"The tribesmen hold meetings among themselves that begin each morning, and they are worried about their businesses being closed by the Pakistani military. At night, you can see a big 'star' in the sky. Some here call it the 'Bush Eye.' The more superstitious say it's a bad omen. Others say it's an American spy satellite. One friend, who's a tribesman, told me he can't sleep at night now. He said, 'I think that they're monitoring my movements, even in my home.' "

David Clark Scott
World editor

Follow-up on a Monitor story

Money for Peace: Thailand plans to spend $800 million on a development program to undermine a surge of violence in the Muslim south, according to a document seen by Reuters. The plan calls for most of the money to be spent on creating more jobs, building more highways, and providing better access to schools and hospitals in one of the country's poorest areas. It is due to be presented at a cabinet meeting with Muslim leaders in the southern city of Pattani today. As reported in the Jan. 7 article "Muslim unrest flares in Thailand," more than 50 people have been killed, including Muslim officials and Buddhist monks, in Thailand's three southernmost provinces.

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