On Thursday, a suicide car bomber hit a truck carrying Frontier Constabulary troops through a crowded area of Mingora, killing 19 soldiers and a civilian, and wounding 35.

The devastating attack underlined the worsening security situation in Pakistan, particularly in the conservative region near the border with Afghanistan where militants linked to the Taliban and al-Qaida increasingly hold sway. The rise of militancy in the region has shaken the authority of President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, a key U.S. ally in its war on terror. ~AP

Andy McCarthy throws a fit:

Can someone explain to me what is “conservative” about a revolutionary movement that seeks, by mass-murder, to overthrow the established order and set up a tyrannical sharia state?

First of all, McCarthy has read something that isn’t in the story.  The story refers to the “conservative region near the border with Afghanistan.”  As those even a little familiar with these Pashtun borderlands know, the society there is very conservative, certainly by the standards of local tribal customary practice and religion.  According to their traditions, they are the conservatives in Pakistan.  The story was not even describing the Taliban or Al Qaeda.  It was describing the region.  Perhaps McCarthy might argue that its customary conservatism or lack of it is irrelevant to the story and should not have been included, but a good argument can be made that it is precisely this local traditionalism and adherence to patterns of loyalty that take priority over ties to the state that make this region such a valuable area in which pro-Taliban and Al Qaida forces can operate.  Interestingly, later versions of the story have eliminated the designation “conservative” from the relevant sentence, though they have applied it to another, neighbouring region.