GEARING UP

Pakistan Readies Militant Crackdown

For years, the U.S. has pressured Pakistan to battle militants and terrorist groups in their toughest strongholds, a demand that leaders have resisted. But it looks like things may be changing—The New York Times reports that Pakistani military officials are considering an attack on North Waziristan, a notorious sanctuary for al Qaeda and Taliban members fighting against NATO troops in Afghanistan. Under a background of improved relations with the U.S., Pakistan has already launched multiple campaigns against terrorists in previously untouchable areas, like the Swat Valley—and suffered deadly terrorist reprisals against civilians. About 2,700 Pakistani soldiers have been killed since 2001, nearly three times the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan in the same time.