After having been expelled from rulership of Afghanistan at the end of 2001 by US and NATO forces, the Taliban are back. This time they have legal control over a region of Pakistan, as CNN reports:

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari signed into law Monday a peace deal for the nation’s violence-plagued Swat Valley, according to a presidential spokesman.

The deal implements Islamic law, or sharia, in the Swat Valley region of North West Frontier Province. …

Although details of the deal were not immediately available, it was understood that the area will come under the Taliban’s strict interpretation of sharia.

The government of Pakistan has all but ceded the Swat Valley to the Taliban and thus given them a legitimate power-base from which to resume their war against modernity. With allies like them, who needs enemies?

Memo to Pakistani officials: Ceding control of your country to the Taliban is not a good way to resist them. Others in history have learned this harsh lesson, among them, King Æthelred II of England.

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