As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pakistan Fights Back

Since the Taliban took over a town just 60 miles from the Pakistani capital, it does appear that the central government got the message, at least.

After a week of strong criticism here and abroad over its inaction, the Pakistani military deployed fighter jets and helicopter gunships to flush out hundreds of Taliban militants who overran the strategic district of Buner last week, the military said Tuesday.

Pakistan also agreed to move 6,000 troops from its Indian border to fight militants on its western border with Afghanistan, according to a Pakistani official who did not want to be identified discussing troop movements in advance.

But American officials, who welcomed the redeployment, said Pakistan was still not doing enough to fight the insurgents, who are tightening their hold on the country. The Americans expressed frustration that Pakistan was still rebuffing their offers to train more Pakistanis to fight Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

I didn't think the Pakistanis could be moved at all on this front, so I'm happy. Clearly the Taliban showed by their actions a desire to aggrandize more power, and the vast majority of the Pakistani population actually does reject them, more so in the wake of the beating of a young woman in the Swat Valley, which is under Sharia law.

The Taliban views the offensive in Buner and the Lower Dir district of Swat as a violation of the peace deal they negotiated with the government. So this could get worse. But at least the Pakistanis are in the fight.

Labels: , , ,