Pakistani military operations in the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan have steered clear of North Waziristan, allowing the area to become a haven for militants. Tribal and local intelligence sources say some 15,000 militants shelter in this semiautonomous tribal belt. “It’s a cobweb,” says former Pakistani diplomat Ayaz Wazir. New alliances between militant commanders in Waziristan have turned this area into a dangerous labyrinth, from which fighters can launch suicide attacks in Pakistan or missions against US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. “It's an international war which has engulfed us,” says Malik Khan Marjan Wazir, an influential tribal elder in North Waziristan. “The volcano is in Afghanistan but it erupts in our tribal areas.” For Marjan Wazir, peace won't be found through military operations or drone attacks, but in negotiations at what he calls “real” jirgas (tribal assemblies). “My elders would always tell me a story that if a woolen blanket gets leeches, you don’t put to fire the whole blanket. You pluck them out with care.” Based on interviews with local tribesmen and intelligence sources, here’s a list of the five biggest players in the region:
Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s former military ruler who left the country amid unrest and legal trouble in 2008, said this week he intends to return home to lead a new political party.
US drones have stepped up bombing raids to combat new alliances cropping up between disparate militants coming to Pakistan's North Waziristan region.
The latest US drone attack killed 14 suspected militants in Pakistan, bringing the number of people killed by drones in September alone to 75 as the US targets the Haqqani network.
The government plans to start handing out cash grants to victims of the Pakistan floods in the coming weeks. Donations from abroad are dwindling as a costly recovery effort begins.
Across Pakistan questions are swirling about whether the political elite intentionally failed to divert dam waters in order to protect lands of financial interest to them.
Angelina Jolie, a veteran of humanitarian work, has traveled to more than 20 countries. Pakistan’s crisis was greater in scope than any she had ever witnessed, Angelina Jolie said.
The target of the drone attack was the Haqqani network, a Pakistani militant group based near the Afghanistan border that has been blamed for attacks on NATO troops.
Angelina Jolie met flood victims in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday and appealed to the international community to provide aid needed to help the country recover. Angelina Jolie described herself as "very moved" by the flood victims.
The death of more than a million livestock in the Pakistan floods has wiped out years of farmers' savings. How the government responds will shape the country's economic future.
Listing the Pakistani Taliban as a terrorist group lets the US expand its campaign against the organization, which said it trained the attempted Times Square bomber and has vowed more attacks in the US.
The Lahore blasts – though sectarian in nature – may raise the level of threat felt by the hundreds of international aid workers who have come to help Pakistan after its worst flooding in 80 years.
As Pakistan struggles to recover from what may be the worst flooding in its history, the future of the country's leadership has been called into question.
Pakistan’s flood waters may soon be receding, say government officials, though the task of providing relief to some 17 million affected and reviving the country’s devastated economy is just beginning.
Pakistan flood foreign aid groups appear to be unfazed by Taliban threats that their presence is 'unacceptable.' Foreign aid workers note that they are always working in a 'high security context.'
President Zardari announces that the country could take three years to recover from the Pakistan floods. Politicians have been notably absent in Pakistan recently.
Pakistan's acceptance of a $5 million flood aid donation from India could be a confidence-building measure between the two countries. At home, critics may spin the move as 'a sign of weakness.'
Pakistan floods have displaced 4 million people, but aid to the country has been at a trickle compared to other catastrophes, such as the Jan. 12 Haiti earthquake.
Pakistan flood aid is coming from new quarters as educated Pakistanis raise funds and distribute aid directly to victims of the flood. Activist networks have sprung up as the middle class has become more prosperous and organized.
Pakistan floods have left much of the country scrambling for food, health care, and shelter. The US is set to increase aid to Pakistan to $150 million Sen. John Kerry announced on Thursday.
Pakistan floods recede but experts warn of a second wave of heavy rains that could spell disaster for those who already remain cut-off from aid now that many bridges have been washed away.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hosted leaders from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan in Sochi, Russia, on Wednesday. Militancy and the drug trade are increasing threats to Russia's security.
Authorities battling Pakistan floods have forecast heavy monsoon rains and exceptionally high levels for the Indus River at two dams in Sindh Province.
The absence of politicians from the scene of the Pakistan flood -- the country's worst in 80 years -- is raising concerns about the future of democracy in Pakistan.