This blog aims to highlight issues and information that don't always make it into the mainstream media. Recognising that comment is cheap, wherever possible it will link you directly to documents and sources that are mentioned in the text.
I realised some time ago that it was impossible to write about Afghanistan without writing about Pakistan and other neighbouring countries. With that in mind, the reader will come across articles that, while not specifically about Afghanistan, in some way shed light on the conflict.
That most humanitarian of organisations, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), led by the killer Hakimullah Mahsud, has offered $20 million as aid for flood victims in Pakistan if the government turns down offers of American aid. "The government should not accept American aid and if it happens, we can give $20 million to them as aid for the flood victims,” TTP spokesperson Azam Tariq told news agency AFP by telephone. “We will ourselves distribute relief under the leadership of our chief Hakimullah Mehsud among the people if the government assures us that none of our members will be arrested,” Tariq said. Washington has already provided $35 million in aid, including nearly half-a-million halal meals and 12 pre-fabricated bridges. US-piloted helicopters have helped to save the lives of around 1,000 people, plucked out of the rising floodwaters that have devastated the lives of more than 12 million people. Presumably the TTP fighters will put their suicide vests somewhere cool and dry whilst they fly off in their helicopters to rescue people - excluding Shias, Sufis, Christians, Jews, Sikhs, etc - so they can continue bombing mosques and market places once the floodwaters recede.