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Pakistan Weighs Solutions, as U.S., NATO Press

The tribal areas along Pakistan's border are a haven from which a resurgent Taliban has been launching attacks into Afghanistan, U.S. and Afghan officials say.

Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's military ruler, has tried both military force and appeasement to rein in the pro-Taliban militants in the country's lawless tribal areas. Both approaches only made matters worse, serving to strengthen regional militancy and deepen Pakistan's rampant anti-Americanism.

Yet pressure is rapidly mounting on General Musharraf from Washington and NATO to do something about Taliban militants in Pakistan's tribal zones, and a sharp rise of cross-border attacks into Afghanistan.

Hameedullah Jan Afridi, who represents the tribal areas in Pakistan's upper house, says the answer is to listen to the people themselves, who are desperately poor and are denied basic civil and political rights.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Philip Reeves is an award-winning international correspondent covering South America. Previously, he served as NPR's correspondent covering Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.