Deadly attacks raise questions about Pak's successful Swat offensive claims

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Islamabad, Oct. 13 (ANI): The deadly suicide attack that shook a Swat market killing 41, has nullified the Pakistan Government's repeated claims of it having cleared the Swat Valley of Taliban insurgents.

The Shangla district market bombing was the fourth major attack in Swat this week, and came two days after a stunning attack on the armed forces' headquarters in Rawalpindi, which killed 23.

"They have been able to regroup, and they now feel confident to take on the Pakistani state in the cities. They want to demonstrate that they have the initiative in their hands, rather than Pakistani authorities. So it's a real kind of war," The Washington Post quoted security expert Hasan-Askari Rizvi, as saying.

A Taliban spokesman warned that the attack on the military headquarters was a "first small effort, and a present to the Pakistani and American governments."

He added that it was revenge for the killing of Baitullah Mehsud.

This summer, the Swat Valley offensive glorified the Pak military's image.

And now it is getting ready to for a ground offensive in the Taliban stronghold, South Waziristan, where the attack on Pakistan's military headquarters was also planned.

But experts warn that Pakistan has a history of failed military offensives.

While Swat is a recent example, many previous offensives in South Waziristan had failed miserably, raising doubts about the army's readiness for a new operation. (ANI)

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