Asim Jaan

Pakistan's new catastrophe

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Recent attacks on the Swat region of Pakistan have caused a deep political crisis in the country. Geoff Brown looks at the situation and talks with Asim Jaan, a socialist based in Karachi, about the impact of the offensive and how the left is responding

Since early May the new frontline in Barack Obama's so-called Afpak war has been Swat - a large hilly area with a population of just 1.5 million. Only a few hours drive from Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, it has been called "the Switzerland of Pakistan" because of its beautiful mountains - though its only ski resort was closed two years ago because of worsening security. Beautiful as it is, the reality for most of its inhabitants has been that life is hard, dominated by landlords whose corruption knows no limits.

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