Time, distance and Taliban

Time, distance and Taliban
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First Published: Fri, Apr 10 2009. 12 08 AM IST
Updated: Fri, Apr 10 2009. 12 08 AM IST
The Taliban are within striking distance of Islamabad. They have already run a stake through Pakistan’s heart.
Two important events have occurred in the past 48 hours. The Taliban marched into Buner district, south of Swat and barely 60 miles (97km) north-west of Islamabad. They also called off the “peace deal” between them and the government in Swat.
Month by month and mile by mile, the militants have gained ground. In 2007, the fighting was restricted to South Waziristan, some 220 miles from Islamabad. By 2008, the fighting had spread to Bajaur, barely 95 miles west of the capital.
Not only has their distance from the heart of Pakistan decreased in a clockwork fashion, their geographic movement, from South Waziristan to Buner, too, has been like the motion of the hands of a clock. The danger is that it is not the hour hand, but the minutes arrow, relatively speaking.
India must awaken to the perils on its western borders, for the Taliban are less than 250 miles away.
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First Published: Fri, Apr 10 2009. 12 08 AM IST