Pakistan: Now or Never?
Perspectives on Pakistan
The Pakistan Army is fighting to regain control of the Buner valley to stop a Taliban advance deeper into the heartland, a battle that could determine the course of action the United States adopts in the near future.
Two weeks is what U.S. Central Command chief General David Petraeus is giving the Pakistani establishment to destroy the Taliban in Buner, some 60 miles from Islamabad, and begin to reverse the tide in the rest of the northwest region, according to Fox News.
It quoted Petraeus as saying that the Pakistanis had “run out of excuses” and were finally serious about combating the threat from the Taliban and al Qaeda. But because of a history of offensives that were not carried to their conclusion and even ended up in a reversal of positions, the U.S.military had suspended judgment. It would wait to see concrete action by the government to finish off the Taliban who remained in control of parts of Buner.
U.S. President Barack Obama was a bit more positive, although he made clear at his news conference in Washington that he remained “gravely concerned” about Pakistan.
Is the Pakistan army getting ready to act against the Taliban militants who have made the deepest advance yet into the country, seizing control of Buner district, 100 km (60 miles) from Islamabad, after taking over Swat region?
The militants began withdrawing on Friday just as quietly as they moved into the district, and it wasn’t clear what had led to the sudden withdrawal.