Islamabad, Dec 27 (ANI): The notion that militants are "allies" which runs deep through elements of the Pakistan Army, intelligence services, bureaucracy and the politicians themselves, has in more ways than one led to the fall of Swat, the principal city of the restive South Waziristan region, to the Taliban.
There are powerful forces that provide tacit if not overt support to them, forces which would like to see the Taliban triumphant in the rest of Pakistan and not just Swat. The caliphate of Swat is becoming a reality, The News said in its editorial.
"There has been no official announcement, no victory parades or televised addresses by the victorious party, no cheering crowds welcoming the liberators - but Swat, to all intents and purposes, has fallen to the Taliban," the paper said.
It is the announcement that all girls' education in the valley will cease from January 15 that is the tipping point.
The Taliban have already blown up well over a hundred girls schools, principally those operated by the government, but have moved in recent weeks to blowing up private institutions as well, the paper said.
Female education has virtually ceased anyway, and the Taliban announcement merely puts the seal on what is a manifest reality - the government has lost the battle for Swat and the Taliban have won.
They operate at will, go where they like, issue orders and proclamations that a terrified public are unable to ignore and broadcast their message of obscurantism on the radio for all to hear - and obey.
The ANP government of the North West Frontier Province has called for assistance. But little seems to be forthcoming. Refugees stream out of the valley, the operators of private schools try to fight a rearguard action, the tourist trade is dead and buried long ago and the beautiful valley of Swat now enters a time of darkness, the paper said.
"The government is unable or unwilling to protect its own schools and is not going to lift a finger to protect those of the private sector. It gives the clear impression of having abandoned Swat and its people to whatever their fate may be," The News said. (ANI)