Pakistani soldier patrols military logistics route out of South Waziristan on October 24.
Why Peshawar and why now?
How much can be read into the timing of the attacks It coincides with Hillary Clinton being in the country. It’s fundamentally saying: “You’ve got a high-ranked world leader who’s a guest in the country, and we’re showing you we’re still kicking your backside,” for lack of better words. It’s really to make President Zardari lose face, as well as to continue the turmoil across the country and to show to the international community that the Taliban is winning. It is the latest in a series of deadly attacks this October. Why is the Taliban so active now The Taliban are always more active up in the mountains in the autumn months because it’s far harder for the enemy to be successful. It is colder, the terrain’s harder. The Taliban are experts at fighting in mountainous regions. The Taliban will generally come down on to the flats during the summer months and during the winter months they retreat back up into the mountains. What would conditions be like on the ground It would be very cold, very brutal. It would be tough, tough terrain for any military forced to try to fight against the Taliban. They are kings of their castle in many respects in those regions. Can you see the fighting intensifying between now and the end of the year The Pakistan military will find it incredibly hard going to battle against them as the winter months progress. There is very possibly going to be some kind of withdrawal, maybe the closer we get to the end of the year, because it starts becoming more and more brutal before the early months of the year. It’s like Afghanistan; you don’t want to be down there in January or February. However the government can’t lose face and they can’t seem to be losing. Is there anything the government can do to halt the spate of suicide attacks If you have got sorties from the Taliban coming down into Islamabad and Karachi and undertaking attacks there, it’s very difficult to intersect. Quite often what you may have is a group that is working in Karachi and Islamabad who will be the resource; they’ll be the ones doing the reconnaissance, looking at the various targets and then the suicide bombers would likely come down to be briefed by the local team and pointed to the explosives, wherever they might be. It demonstrates their determined campaign to embarrass and humiliate Zardari’s government. iReporter: “Increasing chaos” in Pakistan