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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fears of a Taliban spread By Sadia Sulaiman, Syed Adnan Ali Shah Bukhari

Conclusion: the Taliban phenomenon in Pakistan is confined to the western border with Afghanistan. Taliban activity in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region has worsened Pakistan's relations with Afghanistan, the United States and ISAF-NATO forces. However, the forward movement of the Taliban towards the north of the country may complicate Pakistan's relations with China, Central Asia and Russia. It would push South and Central Asia into a cauldron of violence that could jeopardize the stability of the entire region.


Strategic importance of Malakand division

Malakand division comprises one third of the NWFP, and forms the northern part of Pakistan. It is spread over an area of nearly 30,000 square kilometers and has a population of 5.52 million. The division consists of seven districts - Malakand, Buner, Swat, Shangla, Upper Dir, Lower Dir and Chitral. It borders Afghanistan's Badakshan and Nuristan provinces in the north and northwest. In the southwest, Malakand division shares a border with the Bajaur and Mohmand Agencies of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). In the east, Malakand division shares a border in its Chitral and Swat districts with the strategically important Federally Administered Northern Areas (FANA) of Pakistan (corresponding to Pakistani-controlled Kashmir), which in turn is contiguous with China's Uyghur-inhabited Xinjiang province in the north. In the south, Malakand shares a border with densely-inhabited Charsadda-Peshawar, Mardan and Swabi districts of the NWFP. A cursory look at the conflict-ridden Swat district reveals that it forms the core of the Malakand division, and shares borders with all the other districts of the division. With the exception of Chitral, which is inhabited by the Indo-Iranian Dardic language-speaking Khowar and Kalash tribes, the Malakand division is inhabited largely by Pashtun tribes, mainly the Yousafzai. [1]


Blogger chitral said...

You have failed to mention in this article that the Malakand division shares a border with the WAKHAN province of Afghanistan besides Badakhshan and Nuristan provinces

May 22, 2009 1:25 AM  

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