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What to Believe About Pakistani Anti-Taliban Operations? « The Washington Independent

An encouraging statement:

“Enough is enough. We have decided to flush them out,” the senior adviser in the [Pakistani] Interior Ministry, Rehman Malik, told the independent television channel Geo.

“The peace accord was linked to peace. When there is no peace, there is no use for that accord,” Mr. Malik said. “I appeal to the Taliban to lay down their arms. There is no other option for them.”

A military operation in the Lower Dir area west of Swat “killed 30 militants and one paramilitary soldier, Pakistan’s Interior Ministry said.” OK, but what about taking territory back from the Taliban? As long as important Pakistani military commanders define success in terms of body counts, the specter exists of the Pakistani government declaring victory instead of rolling back Taliban advances. Taliban-affiliated clerics and officials are claiming the Lower Dir operation as a pretext to continue to attack Pakistani civilians, soldiers and officials whom they’ve never stopped attacking.

For a sense of the anxiety felt in Islamabad that comes from the Taliban being about 60 or 70 miles outside of the city, read this great Washington Post piece.

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