A Taliban Emirate

In Pakistan, Taliban groups are no longer confined to tribal areas and unsettled scrubland:

Even the Swat Valley, one of the most beautiful green highland landscapes on earth and until recently a popular tourist destination, is now home to Taliban FM radio stations which broadcast the names of new death squad targets most evenings, and justify the latest murders of women and girls.

The Telegraph’s Dean Nelson describes the area as al Qaeda’s and the Taliban’s own “emirate.” Which is not a bad way to look at things. If we’re going to step up aerial bombardment of these regions, questions of sovereignty will take center stage. Coming to grips with the fact that the Zardari government has lost jurisdiction over Taliban areas might help to preempt moral posturing in the West and soften the bluster out of Islamabad.