Swat operation: Is it on the right track?

Swat operation: Is it on the right track?

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.


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287 Responses to “Swat operation: Is it on the right track?”

  1. Nusrat Pasha says:

    The pertinent question would appear to be,’What is the right track’ ? To secure Pakistan and all Pakistanis is the right track. To cleanse the country of the curse of terrorism is the right track. To eliminate fanaticism and promote moderation, tolerance and acceptance is the right track.


    If it is upto certain limits, it is good. Nobody can deny the writ of Government, respect to laws otherwise face the same. The doors for reconcilation should be open to whom who respect the country.

  3. I am pleased to know that people have finally started talking about real issues is what I want to say but what stops me from saying so is that we always end up criticizing any “efforts made for the development of the country” this is not some debate on who and what is right or wrong, its about owning up to the decisions and also more importantly damage control and not complaining about what has already happened. This is what an educated civilian does when there is an acute lack of true leadership, we mold the ‘incident’ into a minor injury not just literally but in all respective dimensions. Let’s say I don’t want to side with the army, the Taliban, any political party or any policy that America has to present us with.

  4. Ashutosh says:

    After going through all these comments, I would like to put my though infront of all of you. No matter how much attacks Pakistani Army or NATO will do on these Talibanis, they are not going to be finished because they are continiously feeded by Terro-outfits based not only in Kashmir but also inside the pakistan. Govt. and all pakistani’s shoud take this firm decision and reject all such organizations like Talibans, Al-Quaida etc. Such people have embressed Muslims but more Pakistani Muslims. Any civil society across the world are not willing to assimilate with them. Its you, who have to take this initiative and comeout of all the conservative thining of Fundamentalizm. Lets concentrate on Trade and development and feed our poor and needy people. I am sure you all be agree with my comments…

  5. Shaikh Mohommad of United Kingdom says:

    Remember the parliament said NO to drone attacks but they still continue?

  6. Naila malik says:

    we have to figure out the post war situation after the end this so called war on terror ,the goverment intends to shift to waziristan. what would the berieved families will do when they well settled there dont you realize they can take the revenge from innocent people living in urban areas.As far as talibans are concerned these are now dormant enemies not in deep slumber,they are hibernating right now they will sprout whenever they get opportunity.Will our armed forces go for another war?

  7. Kara Swart says:

    A quick question: How much is 10% of the value of Pakistani nukes?

  8. Azhar says:

    Revenge is in every culture.

    However at the same time don’t confuse the tribals with the terrorist talibans who have are influenced by ideology foreign to both Islam and the tribal culture.
    The talibans actually turned the local culture upside down. Killing of Maliks and taking over authority by brutalizing the locals and they will have to bear the revenge of the locals in this regard first.

    Why do you think local lashkars are also fighting against them?

  9. syed jaffery says:

    Commenting about the operation is a difficult task because only an expert can tell what to do when to do and how to do. And the military is the best judge about it. i can only advise to use your head instead of heart Slow and steady you will win the race inshaallah

  10. Mustafa says:

    Dear Naila Malik, the brave and peaceful people in Tribal areas have lived thousands of years with dignity and pride free from terror of terrorists. The terrorists have infilterated their communities and made their lives miserable. Insha Allah, Pakistan Army will do everything that can be done so the tribal people can go back to their lives and live in peace and harmony that they lived all the time.

  11. Naila malik says:

    This plan will leave the people of the tribal areas with nothing to cherish, forcing them to take revenge. Of course it is a reaction to an action. We can not get sweet fruit from rotten seed. This action will give you nothing but makes your country weaker.

  12. Mustafa says:

    Dear Shaikh Mohommad, many people unaware of facts, say the same things as you said that is “Already we see towns and villages being bombarded and TV pictures clearly show them as ghost towns. How many more civilians have to be massacred.”

    Shaikh, have you heard of World War II? Do you know how many millions of innocent civilians were killed to get rid of Hitler and his Nazi regime? Was it in vein? Those innocent civilians paid high price for you and I to have a world that we enjoy now.

  13. Would like to see the SWAT IDP’s get back to their homes safely.

    Who is trying to get the 20 WANTED DEAD or ALIVE Leaders of Taliban. Looks like Taliban Leadrs are able to survive the large army attacks. Who is protecting these Taliban Leaders

  14. Shaikh Mohommad of United Kingdom says:

    Already we see towns and villages being bombarded and TV pictures clearly show them as ghost towns. How many more civilians have to be massacred. Sorry. The word used is collateral damage. We saw destruction in Iraq, Afghanistan and now in Pakistan. When will we say enough is enough?

  15. Mustafa says:

    Naila Malik, just to correct you. Government of Pakistan is not taking brutal action against the civlians, let this be absolutely clear to you. The Government is taking lawful and legitmate action against militants and terrorists who are taking brutal actions against Pakistani civilians by bombing mosques where Muslims recite prayers, schools where girls get education, homes and market places killing men women and children like butchers.
    It is a war of survival for Pakistan.

    May Allah Help the brave soldiers of Pakistan and military leaders who are fighting the enemies of Pakistan to bring peace and stability to Pakistani nation.

  16. Naila malik says:

    i just want to share my views that no human can back this brutal action against the civlians .we need to plan to cope with this whatever our goverment is doing it will create unrest in society and this trick will not work .we cannot learn from our mistake Bangladesh is living example of armed action.

  17. Like Sri Lanka our forces have to first cut the escape routes and then go after the leadership. That is what NATO did’t do and failed. At the political/theological level we have to ban this approach of sectarian groups to drag everything into religion instead of treating it as a moral and metaphysical stuff.

    Society should abolish the post of priest and let the eldest in the community lead the prayer.No Khutba. That was the privelege of the Prophet(PBUH). If any group has to say any thing on a significant issue of religion their leader should have it published in the newspaper so that everyone can read.Let us put an end to the oral tradition.madrassahs should be taken over by ther Zakat Department.

    we have to think of economic uplift of the regions which are breedin Taliban.I think cattle and sheep breeding is the best economic occupation for the northern regions and it is not difficult for government to household level sheep breeding as is done for cottage industries.


  18. RAS says:

    When so called talibans were surging, everyone was saying why they are not being checked, and now everyone is critisizing the operation. What should be done?????????????

  19. Mustafa says:

    Dear Learned Mansoor, this is not the time to bash leaders of Pakistan. It is time for Pakistanis to be united, stand behind their civil and military leaders to eliminate the enemies of Pakistan and save Pakistan.

    When your enemy attackes you and your family with guns and rockets, what choice do you have? Open dialogue with the enemy or kill the enemy?

    Pakistan army is doing super job. They have no choice but what they are doing to save you and your future generation from ruthless murderers.

  20. Afzal Baig says:

    Never! we will have to think that who is making us to fight with each others and we all know.

  21. Well! one has to ponder, whether are we doing the right thing? By invading our own country. In the past the all the Military Dictators did this. Some were of course self styled “Field Marshals” and others “Four Star”. But what did they give to Pakistan. Even if they would have ruled like their Battalion, I am sure the situation would have been different.
    All of our leaders whether military or political, they frequently visit foreign countries and certainly they know the all around militancy situation in the world. Did the respective countries get any success in nipping the militant ideas from the root by military operations? If yes! than we are on the right track, but if not! and certainly not than we are on the wrong track.We have to come on dialogue table. History told us what not to do. Britishers tried their best to capture Tribal areas and Afghanistan but couldn’t succeeded. Now New type of global Imperialism-Capitalism-Communism-Fascism-Nazisim etc is trying to invade the countries under the umbrella of alliances.

  22. Mustafa says:

    Well done the Mojahids of Pakistan Army and the volunteer Lashkars. May Allah reward you in this life and hereafter. You have full support of all peace-loving Muslims of the world. Keep it up.

  23. Tariq Mahmood says:

    Talibans words are cheating. They are killing civilian and exposing our dear homeland to danger. They must be eliminated at all costs.

  24. Ali Khan says:

    Security officials have confirmed that the Taliban thugs in Swat are being funded in large part by several foriegn charity groups. At a recent NATO meeting, Richard Holbrooke expressed similar concerns about the funds being provided to the taliban by private individuals and groups in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. He estimated that such funding rivals if not exceeds the $200-$300M drug money raised annually by the Taliban.

    The media has an obligation to pinpoint these foriegn charities and their nefarious anti-pakistan agenda. Clearly, an organized foriegn-based extremist network is providing institutionalized funding, expertise and manpower to the taliban thugs.

    Our security agencies must take all necessary measures to hunt down traitors colluding with these charities and shut down their local operations. Importantly, the government must take up this serious matter with the relevant foriegn leaders, asking them to do more to prevent such extremist elements from supporting the taliban fascists in our midst.

  25. Saeed Manzoor says:

    This is a ridiculous question.It’s meaningless.

    It’s not that Pakistan army is doing Swat operation on it’s own will. In my opinion The UN and the US have forced Pakistan army to act against the Taliban. Pakistans agencies are responsible for the present day situation.

    Swat operation is way too late.Had been Pakistan army serious enough in it’s war on terror they would have acted earlier.

    Now I feel Pakistan is at point of no return.

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