People question Pak Army's lack of willingness to act in Swat

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Islamabad, Jan 30 (ANI): People of the Swat Valley have expressed their reservations about the ongoing Pakistan Army operation against militants, as they see a lack of willingness on the part of the state to curb militancy.

The intelligentsia, particularly the Pakhtun intelligentsia, now holds this perception. They contend that if the state's military can stand up to the third largest Indian Army, how can it not handle an internal insurgency carried out by a few thousand armed men?"

Five thousand terrorists are fighting 20,000 troops, a leading Islamabad based daily said in its lead editorial.

The ANP government in the NWFP has been complaining bitterly over the quality of defence offered to it against terrorists within its own jurisdiction in Swat and in the federally administered neighbouring agency of Khyber, the Daily Times said.

The MNAs and MPAs who have been forced to flee Swat have been speaking with great acerbity about how the people of Swat have been delivered on a platter to Fazlullah's men.

Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani visited the troops in Swat on Thursday and told them that the "Pakistan Army has the will and the resolve to defeat terrorists, restore peace and establish the writ of the state in violence-hit areas."

He was putting the stamp of his authority on the third phase of Operation Rah-e-Haq against the Taliban led by warlord Fazlullah. The message to the troops was no doubt also intended for the rest of the country and for the world community.

The visit came in the wake of a statement made by the Interior Adviser Rehman Malik promising the ouster of the terrorists from Swat "in fifteen days".

The statement ran the risk of being treated as a meaningless hyperbole since he had earlier promised a similar "solution" to the sectarian mayhem of Parachinar "in 15 days" and not delivered. (ANI)

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