By K.N. Pandit
Ground situation in US and NATO’s war on terror in NWFP region significantly deteriorated during 2008. Taliban are in virtual control of Bajaur and Mohmand Agencies, and in the Swat Valley, just three hours drive from capital Islamabad, only Taliban’s writ runs. Pakistan’s armed personnel guarding her check posts just duck their heads whenever a group of armed Taliban crosses their way.
Taliban’s regular guerilla attacks on enemy camps are causing casualties. Recently they blew up a bridge on the road to strategic Khyber Pass over which 80 per cent of NATO’s supplies proceed to war front in Afghanistan. This has forced NATO and US commanders think of an alternate route less vulnerable to Taliban ambushes and attacks.
The alternate route under consideration is that of Trans-Caspia to Turkmenistan, Unbeaten, Tajikistan and then across the Oxus at Tirmez to Northern Afghanistan. It is longer and more expensive in comparison to Karachi-Khyber route. But it has to be worked out.