Tirah is a belt of valleys providing a convenient passage into Afghanistan, with a population of 1.5 million. Fertile for what Afghanis do best: opium, poppy fields have flourished in the region and the government has been for years trying to curb the epidemic. But the Tirah Valley people are slippery under the quivering thumb of the establishment since colonial times. It was in 2003 that the Pakistan Army entered the valley, that too after 9/11 and escalating Talibanization of the northern region when it was believed that Osama bin Laden could be hiding in one of these self governing regions.
For a month now, since March 2013, Tirah Valley has been making headlines. As over 300 militants have been eliminated and more than 30 army personnel have achieved martyrdom in less than thirty days. Due to fierce resistance, the military operation has gained momentum. Like the Swat operation, where Taliban had allied themselves with the local government promising better law enforcement and good riddance from the sloppy civil courts, in Tirah the emergence of TTP has also been gradual. Owing to poor infrastructure and isolation of the region (a tribal area that avoids foreign interference), news of the hundreds killed while resisting TTPs advancement in to the region, never reached mainstream media sources.