Taliban to return to carry on its fight as Pak Army's offensive lacks credibility: NYT

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New York, June 28 (ANI): The Pakistan Army has been boasting of success against the Taliban and other extremists, and claims that it has flushed the insurgents out, besides killing scores of them during its offensive in the Swat and Malakand Divisions, but a closer look at the region where the military operation purportedly resulted in death of several militants presents a different picture, casting serious questions over the Army's claims.

While the military has been claiming being engaged in a stiff battle with the Taliban, no such signs are visible in the region, which clearly suggests that the insurgents have just melted into the local population here, only to remerge and fight another day, The New York Times reports.

Analysts also believe that amid the claims of the military of sanitizing scores of militants, it has failed to provide any proof of it, which raises serious doubts.

The military operation which has rendered over three million people homeless in the region, and has won strong support from the United States, has amazingly failed to destroy the Taliban's leadership.

The military has also failed to kill or capture even one top Taliban commander, experts pointed out.

"It was very disappointing that none of the commanders had been eliminated," said a senior politician of the region, Aftab Ahmed Sherpao.

Then, there are also fears that the Taliban insurgents have sneaked into the rehabilitation camps set -up for the displaced people, and would in all possibility return to the valley.

"Most of the Taliban shaved their beards, and they are living here with their families in the camps set up for those displaced by the fighting," said the mayor of Mardan, Himayatullah Mayar.

While the military is ready to initiate a fresh offensive in South Waziristan to target the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistan government is yet to announce a comprehensive plan to establish peace and normalcy in the Swat Valley to facilitate the return of the displaced people.

Experts believe that the military and the civilian government lack mutual trust, which raises serious questions about whether the authorities can secure Swat and other areas and keep them from being taken back by the Taliban, the report said.

"I've told the president and the prime minister and the chief of the army this is the time to act. Just take basic things and implement them. This is not talking rocket science," said General Nadeem Ahmad, the commander of the Special Support Group of the Pakistan Army.

"If you don't deliver, it will be trouble. You will come back and do the operation again," Ahmad warned

The displaced people also want a surety from the military that they will be safe if they return home, as they are aware of the repercussions of the past episodes of deal-making with the Taliban.

Displaced people are angry by the indiscriminate shelling in civilian areas by the military, and have also raised questions over the success of the offensive.

"We had no problem with the Taliban. We're here because of the military shelling. I'm a trader, and the thing that affects my life is the curfew," said Umar Ali, a poultry trader from Qambar in Swat. (ANI)

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