Previous governments in the region were able to “rule” the Pashtuns by exploiting tribal divisions, whether undermining individual leaders by exacerbating tribal division or simply by enacting rules that hold tribal leaders responsible for their community’s actions. The current structure of the Taliban, as a de-tribalised insurgency, means that the usual methods of working within the tribal system are far less effective, if at all.
It is abundantly clear that pattern of contemporary global 'jihad' has manifested itself in India. Paradoxically, while many of the New Jihadis are home-grown, the reason for their energetic mobilisation is global. India, therefore, in the minds of the New Jihadis, is but one front in the global jihad. There are two broad arenas where the war must be fought: on the ground and in the mind.
Amidst the endless talk of “stabilising” Afghanistan and Pakistan—which the Bush administration conceives solely in terms of military force and aid, respectively—sight is lost of the fact that what both countries need is transformation. And there is no greater transformation needed in South-Central Asia than turning Pakistan into a state that will no longer be a threat to the stability and security of its neighbours and the world.