Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Jihadists attack U.N. base in Mali

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Assange #ArbitrarilyDetained

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Part 1: Julian Assange, Brexit

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Migrant crisis: Is Calais the dead end on the migrant trail?

Read more

FOCUS

Transgender children: Embracing the transition process

Read more

ENCORE!

Phil Collins remastered

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Taking a slice: The challenge of taxing multinationals

Read more

FASHION

Haute couture: Chains and Napoléon’s sisters on the Parisian runway

Read more

#THE 51%

Afghanistan’s first lady

Read more

Our Focus programme brings you exclusive reports from around the world. From Monday to Friday at 7.45 am Paris time.

FOCUS

FOCUS

Latest update : 2009-10-30

Wave of deadly attacks leaves Taliban looking stronger

As Pakistan's army steps up its offensive against the Taliban, a recent string of devastating attacks in Pakistani cities has led local newspapers to talk of a "black October" and has widened the gap between the country's government and its people.

On Tuesday, October 20, seven students including young women were killed in a double suicide bombing at the Islamic University in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

When two hours after the blast Interior Minister Rehman Malik appeared on the scene, he was sent scurrying for shelter less than a minute later as furious students hurled stones at him.

The incident was indicative of a profound shift in public opinion in Pakistan, where more and more people hold the authorities responsible for the violence of the Taliban.


Yet, only a few weeks ago, the country had appeared united in support of the army's latest offensive against the Taliban. A daring assault on the military's headquarters on October 10 and a triple attack on police in Lahore had finally persuaded to government to launch a ground offensive against the main stronghold of the Taliban in the restive South Waziristan province.

But the operation has failed to halt the attacks, the Pakistan authorities proving unable to prevent the bombings in the country's major cities. Popular support is sinking fast as the ghosts of the past resurface: three times already, the armed forces have prematurely ended their offensives in South Waziristan.

By Cédric MOLLE LAURENCON

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2016-02-05 children

Transgender children: Embracing the transition process

A generation ago, only adults would go through the daunting, but often liberating, process of changing their gender. Today, a growing number of children and adolescents undergo...

Read more

2016-02-04 Syria

Syrian refugees forced into statelessness

In Lebanon one in five people is now a Syrian refugee. The country closed its borders over a year ago, and the government has become more restrictive in issuing residence...

Read more

2016-02-03 jihad

Belgium's Molenbeek seeks to restore tarnished image

In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, the working-class district of Molenbeek, in the suburbs of the Belgian capital Brussels, was blamed. As the days passed, the...

Read more

2016-02-02 poverty

Fears after India’s surrogacy crackdown

The Indian government announced plans to ban surrogacy services for foreign couples in October 2015, sending notices to fertility clinics around the country to stop accepting...

Read more

2016-02-01 France

France struggling to cope with record number of asylum requests

France doesn't get as many asylum requests as Germany or Sweden, but it still saw a big jump last year. Almost 80,000 people applied for asylum in France in 2015, up 22% on the...

Read more