Islamabad, Feb.23 : The results of the February 18, 2008 general elections provides Pakistan with a unique last chance to resolve militancy in the country's tribal areas, say experts.
The Daily Times quoted two analysts as saying that the use of force has backfired to a degree, but has also resulted in the arrest of many terrorists and the destruction of many of their hideouts.
They further said that two things were notably missing in the 'war on terror' before Monday's vote: Soldiers were lacking motivation and leadership qualities and the GHQ (General Headquarters in Rawalpindi) had no support for the military operation from popular political forces.
Civil-military 'disagreement' over the course of action against militancy was no secret and the civilian-led political forces distanced themselves from the main course when their usually "greater say" dissolved into no-say, claimed the analysts.
"There was no harm in [the] army's takeover if it used the political agent as a special adviser to act as liaison between the military and the local population. The problem was that the army lost a bridge with the locals without the political agent's presence," a serving bureaucrat with extensive experience of tribal affairs told the Daily Times.
He thinks the country is now ideally poised to use the stick-and-carrot policy with the post-election situation providing an ideal combination of political backing and "[army] leadership quality".
"The presence of the new army chief and liberal and secular forces winning the elections combine together two important forces [needed] to win the war against militancy," the bureaucrat added.