The last reports on Tuesday evening suggested that the Afghan government had suffered a serious setback after a Taliban offensive succeeded in taking control of much of Sangin, a strategic town in the Helmand province.

The recent visit of Pakistan’s military chief previous Sunday has been shrouded in mystery and marked by controversies ever since it was announced.  Apparently instigated by General Raheel Sharif, it comes just weeks after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with US President Barack Obama at the Oval Office to discuss many of the same issues said to be on his army chief's agenda, including Afghan peace talks and Pakistan's nuclear ambitions.

In the past couple of weeks, unprecedented events had been unfolding in Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered in the streets of Kabul to protest against the gruesome beheading of 7 people, all whom were ethnically Hazara.

The final round of the presidential elections in Afghanistan, and the “deal” between the two “front runners”, on September 21, was so feeble, and the outcome so rotten, that even bourgeois analysts and reporters had to designate them as pathetic and repulsive.

As the autumn haze sets in, Pakistan seems to be engulfed in an environment of gloom, confusion, apathy and sorrow. The masses are bewildered at what is going on and what is about to happen. It is a country not directly at war and yet all the social and economic implications of a war are very much present. Pakistan society seems to be in a state of war - a war nobody wants to wage, since not even the ruling junta is prepared to commit Pakistani troops to this most peculiar conflict.

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