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.