Reaction President Barack Obama's Nobel was largely negative, with fear over an expanding US presence and anger over Islamabad's military cooperation with the US along the Afghanistan border.
The Taliban could expand their influence to more Pashtun areas by merging its pan-Islamic goals with the long-suppressed dream of a Pashtun state.
In a brash response to the government's claim he was dead, Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud appeared in a video broadcast Monday.
Militants killed dozens of security officers and tribal elders and bombed a school Thursday after a drone attack struck the Taliban stronghold of North Waziristan.
The ranks of lashkars have grown to 8,000, according to local leaders, since the Army retook the valley in June. Some residents worry about militarizing the population.
The attack, which killed at least 90 people near two Taliban-hijacked trucks, is a setback for NATO's push to limit civilian deaths.
The arrests show that militants still pose a threat throughout the country despite the death of Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.