Barack Obama, the US president, has called Pakistan's northwest tribal region bordering Afghanistan "the most dangerous place."
The Pakistani army is waging a bloody war against extremist groups for control of those areas, especially in The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
Those battles have left hundreds dead and tens of thousands of people homeless.
Yet Taliban and al-Qaeda forces still control large swathes of territory often imposing their own system of Islamic law on a war-weary tribal population.
Many believe this region has become the new global hub for volunteers keen to fight the US occupation of Afghanistan.
It is also home to many home-grown extremist groups which are attacking targets across Pakistan because of Islamabad's cooperation with the US.
On Wednesday's show we ask: Why has religious extremism flourished in Pakistan's tribal areas and how can Islamabad effectively deal with the threat?
Discussing those issues will be journalist and author Imtiaz Gul who has travelled extensively in Pakistan's tribal regions and is the author of the book The Most Dangerous Place: Pakistan's Lawless Frontier.
We will also have with us Pakistani political and security commentator Syed Mohammad Tariq Pirzada.
This episode of the Riz Khan show aired on Thursday, June 17, 2010.