Foreign journalists are not allowed to enter the tribal region, but some of its prevailing atmosphere and attitude spill into neighboring areas of Pakistan. During a visit this week to Bannu, the closest city to the zone, a reporter found a curious mixture of rapid modernization and strong support for the Taliban.
Many people interviewed said admiringly that the Taliban had brought Islamic justice and moral order to Afghanistan, which it ruled from 1996 to 2001. They expressed little fear of the reported presence of Taliban or al-Qaeda fighters in the neighboring tribal areas, and some condoned the recent late-night bombings of two CD shops in Bannu, presumed to be a Taliban warning against music."If they became the government here, it would be good. We would have no cinemas, no vulgarity, nothing with a bad impact on our women and children."