Pakistan: Now or Never?

Perspectives on Pakistan

Pakistan’s peace deals with militants: the march of folly?


SwatDespite the reservations of its principal ally, the United States, Pakistan’s new civilian leaders have gone ahead and sued for peace with militants in the Swat valley this week, and by all indications are about to cut another deal, and this with the head of the Taliban in the country.

While the politicians have repeatedly emphasised their independence of action with regard to militants and vowed to pursue a different course from President Pervez Musharraf, can they really see these deals through without the Americans on board?

Unlikely, if you listen to the comments/analyses not just in the United States but within Pakistan itself, which while more welcoming of attempts to try a different tack, sees dangers ahead.

Rahimullah Yousafzai, the Peshawar-based executive editor of The News, writes that the peace accords are not going  to be easy to implement in the face of U.S. opposition. He points to the U.S. missile strike in the village of Damadola in the Bajaur tribal agency earlier this month as an indicator of American displeasure over Pakistan’s policy of making deals with militants.