pakistani-flag.jpg“The secular party that won last week’s elections in Pakistan’s northwest province plans to open peace talks with al-Qaeda-allied Islamic insurgents, instead of continuing the army offensives they say have killed, maimed and displaced untold numbers of civilians, driven recruits into the arms of the radicals, and fueled a surge in suicide bombings. To persuade militants to quit the insurgency, and to weaken the popular support that allows al-Qaeda to maintain a sanctuary in the region, the party pledges to build clinics, schools and roads for the area’s three million desperately poor people.” (MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS via

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