The Pathans of the Tribal Agencies in present-day Pakistan have never really accepted an imperium, whether from Kabul, Persia or India. As early as the fifth century BC, Herodotus noted that they were the most "martial" tribes of India. Fiercely independent, complex, and turbulently with medieval outlook and 21s1 century geopolitics, the tribal loyalties on either side of the Durand Line continue to stretch Pakistan's government and their American allies in the war against terrorism. The imperative isn'tjust a hunt for the Taliban and al Qaida, but doing so in a manner that doesn't implode Pakistan's fragile hold in the country's tribal North West Frontier Province.