Tag Archives: Swat Valley

Pakistan Army Continues Attacks In Northwest Area

After years of inactivity and refusal to confront the Taliban, the Pakistan army apparently is engaged in serious efforts to drive out militants who have disrupted life in their nation. Security forces claimed to have killed 56 militants although any casualty figures can never be verified due to refusal to allow journalists into area where there is fighting. The operation is directed at any insurgents who fled fighting in the Swat valley where Pakistan army forces drove the Taliban from an area they had terrorized. Pakistan’s military claims to have killed about 1,700 members of the Taliban since they began operations in the Swat Valley.

The success of failure of the Pakistan operation will not be known for months or even years. Will the army be able to restore a secular government in the Swat valley? Will it ensure inhabitants of the region they will be protected from Taliban revenge? Will the two million refugees be able to restart their lives in safety? It is the answer to these questions which determine the success of failure of current anti-Taliban operations.

String Em Up As Warning To Taliban!

As trucks carrying Pakistan civilians who were returning to their homes in the Swat Valley entered the town they saw a figure of a young man hung upside down from a hydro tower and carrying a message taped to his chest: “If nyone takes down this body, he will meet the same fate. This is a warning to the Taliban.” The body was either strung up by the Pakistan military or some angry civilians who were tired of being oppressed by the bearded men whose message is hate. The swinging body is a common tactic employed by the Taliban to intimidate and apparently someone decided to emulate the enemy they hate. Pakistan’s military claims it has killed over 1,500 Taliban and restored peace to the valley, but to residents who only too well recall similar promises and then being abandoned to the Taliban the issue is whether they will once again meet that fate.

Refugees are being given food and money to return home. But, a vital step to ensure peace is creating local militia which can maintain law and order. There must also be economic stimulus programs which ensure peace and prosperity. Like residents of the Swat Valley, we wait and hope for a future free of the Taliban.

Pakistan Army Seeks To Swat Taliban From Valley

It is still uncertain if the Pakistan army offense in the Swat Valley has succeeded in driving out the Taliban for a long time or is it another venture in which some terrorists are killed only to return the next day? Pakistan military leaders insist they have killed over a thousand Taliban soldiers and are firmly in control of the Swat Valley. However, the main town of Mingora has been badly damaged and most people have fled. There are reports residents are trickling back to the valley which they hope will become secure once again. This operation most probably arose due to stupidity on the part of the Taliban which openly displayed its cruelty to people as well as pressure from the American government to avoid making deals with terrorists.

The future all depends on the willingness of the Pakistan army to fight the Taliban and cease regarding war with India as the number one priority.

War Rages In Pakistan As Taliban Dig In

The fight for Pakistan continues as its army is engaged in serious battles with Taliban forces in the Swat Valley. The battle is now in the fourth week as planes, helicopters and ground troops attempt to dislodge the Taliban from their defensive positions. The Pakistan military says it is closing in on the capital of Swat and are now in Mingora. A Pakistan officer claims the “ground offensive has now started in the cities and the towns, before that we were fighting in the countryside.”

As usual the Pakistan government offers casualty reports that no one can confirm or deny. The best news is an agreement among a wide range of political leaders to support the current action in the Swat valley. Perhaps, Pakistan politicians have finally obtained the glimmer of understanding their nation’s main enemy is not India, but the Taliban. If they can unite behind that understanding, there is hope of defeating the Taliban.

Come Back To Buner Urge Pakistan Leaders

The situation in Pakistan appears brighter than it was a few weeks ago, but it is still unclear if the Pakistan army is as successful in the Swat Valley and Buner as it claims in recent announcements. Buner, which fell to the Taliban is the subject of a strong Pakistan army offense that supposedly is clearing the area of the Taliban and forcing them to flee. There are even unconfirmed reports some Taliban soldiers are forcing barbers to shave their beards so they can hide within the population. Pakistan officers admit there are still hundreds of Taliban soldiers holed up in the mountains and fighting to defend their positions.

However, Pakistan soldiers are now fighting the Taliban instead of remaining in peaceful slumber on the border with India ready for a war that will not come. Curfew has been lifted in areas of the Swat Valley and a trickle of people are returning to their homes, many of which have been wiped out in the fighting.

Question: is the Pakistan offense going to indicate a commitment to keep the Taliban out of these areas or will soldiers leave only to witness the return of the Taliban?

Pakistan Army Pounds Taliban

The moment of truth has arrived for the Pakistan army and it has responded with vengeance to the refusal of the Taliban to adhere to agreements in the Swat Valley. Thousands of Pakistan soldiers are pounding away at the Taliban which is dug in by the town of Mingora and airplanes are bombing enemy positions. General Athar Abbas said the goal was to “eliminate” the insurgents from the Swat Valley and restore its population to the rule of Pakistan, not Taliban law. A spokesperson for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, says an estimated one million people will have fled or are in the process of fleeing the battle zone as fighting intensifies in fury. It appears more and more Pakistanis are now recognizing dealing with the Taliban is not an “American issue” but one that concerns the future of their nation.

The consensus supporting the current army operation is present, but the question is how long will this feeling endure, particularly if thousands are killed in the fighting. The other unanswered question is to what extent has army leadership come to realize they must crush the Taliban to save their nation. The future will answer those questions.

Can Pakistan’s Army Defeat The Taliban?

The Pakistan army is now conducting an offense in the Swat Valley against Taliban forces. From all indications, the fighting is fierce, thousands of civilians are fleeing for their lives, but there are many unanswered questions. The reality is that a few thousand Pakistan soldiers are fighting in this battle while over two hundred thousand remain on the border with India facing an enemy that does not exist. The Indian army is not going to invade Pakistan, but to the leadership of Pakistan the first priority is to maintain a large armed force on a border to fight against an enemy that is not going to attack. Why? It becomes increasingly clear the Pakistan army is divided with a large segment pleased the Taliban is extending its power. After all, the Pakistan secret service, the ISI, created the Taliban and has continually given it support.

The real question is whether the United States can influence Pakistan’s armed force to take a proactive stance in the fight against the Taliban. Money without strings will not result in a determined Pakistan army willing to fight the Taliban. If they want money, it must be linked to a massive attack on the Taliban. At some point Pakistan’s military must decide if they want an independent Pakistan that is a democracy or a theocracy under the control of the Taliban.

Pakistan And Taliban Fight For Village

Pakistan’s leaders assumed they could negotiate with Taliban leaders for some form of modus vivendi under which the insurgents would end violence in return for control of a province. But, to Taliban leaders, a single bite is simply prelude to devouring the entire animal being consumed that night. After Pakistan surrendered control of the Swat Valley and allowed the Taliban to impose Sharia law– even though many of those provisions violated the Pakistan constitution. Within a month, Taliban insurgents slipped over the provincial border and took control of Buner and then went on to still another area where they drove out police and government officials.

The February Pact is now a dead letter unless Pakistan’s government is foolish to believe the Taliban will agree to survive as a peaceful group. Heavy fighting now rages around Buner and dozens of militants are dead along with civilians and some Pakistan soldiers. The unknown question is whether the Pakistan army will continue the assault or will it back away still another time. There is only one road to peace in Pakistan and that is wiping out the Taliban and ensuring they do not control any provincial governments.

The world awaits how the Pakistan army handles the current attack on Taliban forces. If the Taliban successfully repels the Pakistan army, the future will be gloomy for any peace in Pakistan.

Where Is Pakistan Headed?

It becomes increasingly clear the Pakistan government has yet to decide either internal or external policies related to terrorism. After reaching an agreement with the Taliban which allowed the Taliban to control the Swat Valley and impose Sharia law — which was not in accordance with Pakistan law– in return for laying down their arms, the terrorist group has gone on a rampage of more violence in Buner. There are reports that finally units of the Pakistan army have engaged in fighting Taliban forces in areas of the Swat Valley where local authority has been supplanted by terrorist groups. The situation in Buner remains critical since Taliban soldiers are taking over government institutions and imposing Sharia law even though that was not part of any agreement.

The Taliban are using what is termed, “salami tactics” to cut off one slice of Pakistan at a time while the government and army “discusses” what to do next. There is no need for any further discussion, send in the Pakistan army and wipe out the Taliban. President Zardari still doesn’t realize that now is the time to fight the Taliban, allow them to control more districts and the fight will be increasingly difficult.

It is amazing that a government allows an armed force to take over government facilities and impose its own law! What exactly is the purpose of the Pakistan government except to protect its citizens?

Pakistan Says Everything OK On Nuclear Front

The Pakistan government has already given the Taliban control of the Swat Valley which only increased the appetite of these fanatics to extend their control even further into the neighboring district with no end in sight to further advances. President Zardari assured the world there was no chance the Taliban would gain control of his nation’s nuclear weapons and promised the army had everything under control. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made clear the United States could not envision the Taliban in control of nuclear weapons which suggests there might be plans for some type of armed intervention unless Zardari and the Pakistan army show some fight.

The Taliban is within a hundred miles of the capital but Zardari insists there is nothing to fear. He made a deal with the Taliban allowing them to control the Swat Valley in exchange for peace and the only peace that has resulted is the Taliban taking more and more pieces of Pakistan. The unanswered question is where does the Pakistan army stand in this mess?