Summer grasses / All that remains / Of soldiers' dreams. - Basho.
I realized that Pakistan provinces have an associated population value (0 or 1), and this made me wonder why? Since those spaces are always neutral, they cannot contribute to total opposition. Also, no faction other than Talibans can occupy such spaces (at least I haven't seen any event that would allow it explicitly).
So what are they used for?
The factors mentioned above plus the various restrictions on acting against Pakistan via direct military intervention or airstrike makes Pakistan a common place to build up Taliban forces in relative safety before launching an offensive into Afghanistan.