Mohammed Hanif in The New Yorker:
During his four years as the head of the T.T.P., Mehsud raised the Taliban game in Pakistan. No longer were they just tribal men fighting to preserve their way of life; they started dreaming they could convert everyone to it. Mehsud consolidated a number of small but ruthless militant and sectarian groups into close-knit fighting units that seemed able to strike anywhere at will. He ordered attacks on Pakistan’s military bases, organized a couple of spectacular jailbreaks, and sent an endless stream of suicide bombers after politicians and religious scholars who didn’t meet his exacting standards. After his men kidnapped an Army colonel, Mehsud delivered a short speech, and then shot him in front of a video camera.
Yet the state seems to have lost the will to fight its old foe, Fazlullah, and his followers. When Mehsud was killed, instead of celebrating or letting out quiet sighs of relief, politicians and journalists reacted as if they had lost a favorite son. He had killed many of us, but we weren’t craving vengeance; we were ready to make up and cuddle.
Why does Pakistan’s political and military élite celebrate the very people it is fighting?