Pakistan intensifies fight against Taliban
Militants suspended peace talks with the government as troops continued an offensive in the Dir district.
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Welcome as it is, the operation in Dir may also strengthen the impression that the military cracks down hard only when its own are attacked. Taliban violence against civilians is largely ignored for some reason. The army chief said the other day that the military would drive back the Taliban if they made any further inroads. Why just 'drive back'? These people are merciless and have no qualms about indulging in savagery.
In an interview with the Pakistani blog CHUP (Changing Up Pakistan), security expert Khalid Aziz says the government should have paid more attention to the grievances of people in the tribal areas, where militants are based.
There are "always upset people in any society and if they have grievances, they act as a tool for the militants who come and organize communities around discontent.... We have been too reliant on the use of force and that has led to a lot of collateral deaths, which has again aggravated and increased the grievances."
While pounding continued in Dir, Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Tuesday warned that the military offensive could extend to Buner, a neighboring area that lies only 60 miles northwest of Islamabad, reports The Washington Post.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik said around 450 Taliban were reported to have sneaked into Buner on Monday.
"I warn them to vacate the area. We are not going to spare them," he told reporters.
According to The News, the military has been preparing for a military offensive in Buner and action against militants in that area is imminent.
The army is gearing up for launching a full-scale military operation in the strategically located Buner district to defeat the militants and secure control of the area to block their possible advances to other areas, particularly Hazara, official sources told The News on Monday.
Official sources said that Frontier Corps and army troops would take part in the operation. For the purpose, they added, two brigade army troops were arriving in the troubled district. "The operation could be started in the next few days," the sources said, avoiding giving an exact date for launching action.