On the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, The World Tonight, had a special edition from Pakistan. Owen Bennett Jones presented the programme from Islamabad while Lyce Doucet reported from Afghanistan.

Seven years on from the attacks in New York and Washington, the key stronghold of groups linked to the Taleban and al-Qaeda is now the wild and remote mountain region straddling the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Many call this the new frontline in the battle between western forces, their Afghan and Pakistani allies, and armed Islamic militants.

But there is another way of looking at this region - it is the heartland of the Pashtuns - the tribal people who make up a large element of the population of both Afghanistan and Pakistan, but are resistant to the central authority of both states. The majority of the Taleban are Pashtuns and they have allied themselves to al-Qaeda.

In Afghanistan, American and Nato forces - with Afghan government troops - are involved in an increasingly fierce battle with the Taleban, while in Pakistan 120,000 Pakistani troops are engaged in large scale operations against Taleban fighters and their al-Qaeda allies.

These are the questions we hoped to address in the programme and ones we put to Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Pakistani Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi as well as the British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband.

Do the Pashtuns have specific grievances with the governments in Kabul and Islamabad which have led to their involvement in the violence? In other words is there a nationalist or tribal element to this conflict as well as a religious one and what does that mean for hopes to end the fighting.

We are not the only ones asking this question - Frederic Grare wrote on this for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace back in 2006 and Mr Miliband himself has been blogging on this.

I hope the programme contributed to understanding this complex conflict.


anniversary 週年紀念;週年紀念日

edition (發行物的)版;(某版的)發行數  版本


stronghold 堡壘,要塞 大本營;據點,根據地

straddle對...持觀望態度   叉開(腿);騎,跨立於


militants   adj好戰的;富於戰鬥性的;激進的  交戰中的   n好鬥者;富有戰鬥性的人;激進分子[C]

element 【化】元素[C] 要素,成分   (特定的)一群人

resistant 抵抗者

Nato   =North Atlantic Treaty Organization 北大西洋公約組織

troops 軍隊,部隊[P]

fierce 兇猛的;殘酷的;好鬥的

engaged 與...交戰,進攻

scale 等級;級別 大小;規模

grievances 不滿,不平;抱怨,牢騷

involvement 纏繞 連累 牽連 財政困難

conflict 衝突,抵觸,不一致,分歧  鬥爭,爭執,戰鬥

religious 宗教的,宗教上的  篤信宗教的,虔誠的  認真的,嚴謹的



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