Foreign Affairs Reporting Pet Peeve
This NyTimes article on a local Pakistani villager uprising against the Taliban in NorthWest Frontier Province refers to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas as “lawless tribal areas on the Afghan border.” Could we stop with this lawless bit? There are definitely laws out there. They do not involve a nation-state with formal courts, juries, and counsel with law degrees assuredly. But trust me there are codes and if you break them you will pay the price. In fact more than anything going on in FATA is the fight between two forms of social community/law. The Taliban attempting to install a hardline fundamentalist version of sharia. Versus the established tribal elder model of governance. There are laws aplenty. They are not lawless but more in a conflict around laws. All of which undoubtedly by Western standards would be considered oppressive, heavy-handed, authoritarian, and the like. But lawless they are not.