The Taliban’s most recent demand from those who are cutting and running from Afghanistan is that they will do a three-month ceasefire in exchange for the release of prisoners and the removal of the group’s leaders from the United Nations’ blacklist. The demand for the release of prisoners is understandable but why, you might ask, is the leadership is so keen to get off the UN’s blacklist? The answer is simple: their wives are dying to go to London and Paris to shop! This is one of the ways the “pure and simple” Taliban leadership has been “contaminated” by the consumer culture of the West since their comings and goings to Doha, and the ensuing “good times” shown to them and their families by the canny Yanks. Clearly, they also have plenty of money to throw around and the gap between the leadership and the commanders on the field is growing by the day.


An Isbad hack in Kabul tells of the widespread hatred against Pakistan amongst all Afghans, be they liberal or fundamentalist, Left or Right, women or men, rich or poor, young or old. He says while walking on the street, people who are recognizably Pakistani get heckled and shouted at by pedestrians and drivers alike. He reports that the Afghans consider Pakistan to be the bane of their lives and they hold Pakistan’s state policies directly responsible for their plight. Re the latter, the Afghans should know that they are not alone. A growing number of Pakistanis also hold their state’s policies to be directly responsible for their plight.

Good cop, bad cop

Pundits have been scratching their heads wondering why The Great Khan has let rip against the Yanks, while The Boyz are trying their best to “re-pivot” towards the West. Readers will recall The Khan’s “refusal” to give bases to the US and the latter’s statement that they never asked for them in the first place. The answer to this conundrum lies in that age-old technique of the Double Game. A DC think tanker told a visiting Pakistani scholar that they had “deconstructed” the gambit of The Khan “refusing” bases and The Boyz asking for the Yanks’ intercession with the Eye Emm Effed, the Lalas, What the FATF etc. They’re playing their usual Double Game, he said, getting The Khan to play bad cop while they play good cop.