Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan has been in the spotlight since 9/11. This tiny piece of land is crucial to all: a determinant of the military outcome in Afghanistan for international community; a strategic space for its hostile ally, Pakistan, for its ambitions in Afghanistan and beyond; a home to al-Qaeda, a special place in its mythology. Prospects of international and regional peace hinge on the situation in FATA; understanding its people and their ground reality has, thus, been more important than ever.Based on extensive ground research in FATA, Taliban and Anti-Taliban reveals the indigenous tribal people’s blood-soaked relationships with the Taliban, Al-Qaida and the Pakistani military establishment and its intelligence apparatus. The book uncovers the heroic armed and non-violent struggle of the local population against the Taliban and Al-Qaida. It also documents the tribesmen’s feedback on some of the high profile literature authored in relation to FATA since 9/11 and exposes serious drawbacks in the writings of some of the famous FATA “experts” in the world.Tribal resistance to the Taliban and Al-Qaida has been widely ignored in international academic and policy discourse, and in media reporting on the war on terror. Knowledge and understanding of this resistance is immensely important for people in the wider world to determine friends and foes in the global war on terror. Taliban and Anti-Taliban fills the void for the first time since 9/11.This book is a must read for anyone and everyone interested in knowing what is going on inside FATA, the region dubbed as “the most dangerous place in the world” by the US.
Farhat Taj is a Pakhtun from the northwestern region of Pakistan. She is a well-known newspaper columnist in Pakistan and director of the documentary film Waziristan—A Culture Under Attack.