Men så, i et land vest for Pakistan, der hed Iran, blev der holdt et præsidentvalg, og hundredetusindvis af iranere gik på gaden for at protestere mod et resultat, de ikke troede på var rigtigt. Lidt efter døde Kongen af Pop, og verden græd i dagevis, og på TV tog begravelsen flere uger.
Og ingen tænkte længere på offensiven mod Syd-Waziristan.
The idea of a South Waziristan offensive began in May. The military had just launched its ground invasion into Swat and Buner districts, routing Taliban forces and seemingly finding a groundswell of popular support. A buoyant President Asif Ali Zardari pledged that soon the offensive would expand to South Waziristan.Skeptisk er jeg.
But the days stretched into weeks, and the feeling that an attack is eminent has diminished. For its part, the Army says its airstrikes are a preliminary step before ground operations.
Leaders like Mr. Afridi who represent Pashtuns living in Pakistan's tribal areas express strong doubts that Islamabad has turned completely against the Taliban.
They point out that only one top commander has been captured or killed so far in Swat, leaving the command and control structure intact. The weeks of delay in South Waziristan, they say, is another chance to let leaders slip away ahead of time.
"If the Army will be starting a ground offensive, against whom? Against the trees. The livestock," says Said Alam Mehsud, the leader of a new Pashtun nationalist group in Peshawar called the Pashtun Awareness Movement.
This strain of popular Pashtun thinking that Pakistan is playing a double game has its critics among some Pashtun leaders, including Rustam Shah Mohmand, a former ambassador to Afghanistan.
"They forget there is an American factor. They forget Pakistan is very closely coordinating with the Americans," says Mr. Mohmand. "The Army now means business and the proof of the pudding is in the eating."