Pakistani Taliban’s Influence Expands Along Border Regions

"Talibanisation" Taking Root in Orakzai Agency Too

Much has been made of the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and their increasing control over the Swat Valley. The Pakistani military has been shelling the area, killing scores of civilians and promising to eventually reconquer the region.

But the problem of “Talibanisation” doesn’t begin and end in the Swat Valley. Neighboring Bajaur has been a mess for over half a year, and there too the Pakistani military has killed enormous numbers of civilians in its fruitless efforts to regain control. Militants destroyed two more schools there today, bringing the total up to 27.

Then there’s Orakzai Agency, which has also seen military efforts over the past several months. Tribesmen are reporting today that the TTP is also introducing sharia law across that agency. They have reportedly banned music and dancing, and have taken over government checkpoints. For the civilians in the area, they know what that is likely to mean: shelling from the Pakistani military, thousands being forced from their homes, and the TTP having an ever greater say over their lives.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.