A few days later they attacked an army convoy travelling in the direction of Swat and killed thirteen soldiers.
The backlash wasn’t just in Swat.
There was an enormous protest by tribesmen in Bajaur and a wave of suicide bombings across the country.
There was one ray of hope – Benazir Bhutto was returning.
The Americans were worried that their ally General Musharraf was too unpopular in Pakistan to be effective against the Taliban so they had helped broker an unlikely power-sharing deal.
The plan was that Musharraf would finally take off his uniform and be a civilian president, supported by Benazir’s party.
In return he would drop corruption charges against her and her husband and agree to hold elections, which everyone assumed would result in Benazir becoming prime minister.
No Pakistani, including my father, thought this deal would work as Musharraf and Benazir hated each other.