Chief of Army Staff Gen Kayani has called for ‘precision strikes to avoid collateral damage even at the expense of taking risks’ in Swat. But will this strategy work?
Air raids, especially those conducted by coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan almost always cause widespread civilian casualties. Given the chequered history of precision strikes, can it be said that the Pakistan army will do any better? Also, the army chief has said that the overall success of the operations in Swat and adjoining regions depend on three areas: ‘conduct of military operations, minimizing collateral damage and correctly managing IDPs’.
So far the armed forces have claimed killing more than 750 militants, though the figure is yet to be independently verified. The Taliban claim that only 15 of its fighters have lost their lives. Meanwhile, thousands of refugees have been pouring out of the areas affected by the full-scale military operation. According to some estimates, the figure of the Internally Displaced Persons has already crossed a staggering one million.
Dawn.com invites readers to debate the Swat strategy and suggest what’s right or wrong with the ongoing action.