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. NASAH says:

    What Sri Lanka army did to the Prabhakarans and their treasonous insurgency — Kayani’s army has to do to its barber-less barbarians (“hajamat kurna manaa hai”) — the Baitullahs the Fazlullahs the Hakimullahs of Pakistan’s North and South Wahshistans and to their spokesmen – the na-Muslim Khans.

  2. Bob says:

    It seems from the photograph I saw in your new paper now eniter population has machine guns in thier hands..

    Till such wapons are not removed from the hands of non official people, you can never take out violance in Pakistan.

    Why anyone other than police or army should carry these guns…

    Current action will result into nothing, now instead of name Taliban you will have kaliban, paliban, daliban.. you name anythng. A gun in a hand of uneducated youth who has no way to earn money and livelyhood knows only one use of the gun…Call it a quick justice or equal share of wealth…But no hard work to earn…

  3. nasir says:

    it is wrong

  4. Mustafa says:

    Nabeel, you said
    “Pakistan army has once again proven that they are only good enough to fight wars with their own inhabitants , the so called ‘jawans’ of the army who call themselves muslims and patriotic are nothing but just the tools at the hands of their enemies . What surprises me most is that though people know that this is the only truth and yet they turn away as cattles.”
    Nabeel, you have to learn a lot about what is a threat to Pakistan. As a matter of fact the uneducated Jahils are the greatest threat to Pakistan and the Talibans are breed of Jahelia or Jehalat..
    Nabeel, you said
    “More than 1.5 million people are displaced and living without proper food or shelter , first you bomb them and then you say ‘lets have food’ , you make slaves out of the people like this”
    Nabeel, if you were alive before the partition of India/Pakistan and seen the death of hundreds of thousand Muslims and tens of millions of displaced Muslims, you would have said, “Is Pakistan worth all the sacrifice?”
    Listen to this my brother. While it is great tragedy to see 1.5 million Pakistanis displaced, there will be greater tragedy if Talibans are allowed to overthrow duly electrd government of Pakistan. They will slaughter may be 10 times more people than what have been displaced.

    Allah Hafiz

  5. Ali Khan says:

    Its great to see the entire nation standing united behind the Army as it tackles the murderous Taliban terrorists in Swat. The IDP camps are full of refugees recounting horrific tales of the Taliban criminals slaughtering men and women, brutalizing and forcibly ‘marrying’ local girls, blowing up schools, kidnapping for ransom, and beheading policemen.

    The Taliban thugs must pay for the atrocities they have committed against the people of Swat and Malakand. I’m confident our fearless soldiers being cheered on by the entire country will eliminate these fascist taliban very soon.

  6. RamKay says:

    Nabeel M Sher, can you advise the forum what prompted you to become a Taliban/Al Queada sympathaizer / supporter?

    And, what is wrong in a lawyer leading a country?

  7. RKGS says:

    Pakistan is fighting Americas’ war with resulting almost 2 million citizens of Pakistan displaced and on the run from their homes and without food or aid in many cases. Pakistan should not turn against former allies to please lawyer run USA when the U.S. itself is now looking for “exit” plans from Afghanistan.

  8. Zulfiqar says:

    so far Pakistan army has somewhat support of the people for this operation but as more days and weeks pass this will change. The situation IDPs are facing is nightmarish and let’s face it despite our best efforts as Pakistanis to take care of them, it’s 1.5 million displaced people, man. some of the stories I’ve heard and seen on tv are heart wrenching. And to think that these people will have to endure more of it?
    I think the talibans know it, too. That’s why they’re not putting theirs arms down. They’ll fight this to their last man as an army general said and prolong this as much as they can. People will get anxious, people will get desperate and turn against the gov’t and then this thing will be totally out of control. A war that we haven’t won against the taliban and IDP situation which is blowing up in our faces.
    I pray that Pakistan army succeeds in this operation was soon as possible. I know how hard this battle is but this war can’t be prolonged. Talibans surely cant defeat Pakistan army physically but if they can prolong this war that would be a wining situation for them. We cant let that happen after this much sacrifice. May Allah help Pakistan army win against talibans.

  9. Nabeel M Sher says:

    no donuts for pakistan army and their allies.

  10. Nabeel M Sher says:

    Pakistan army has once again proven that they are only good enough to fight wars with their own inhabitants , the so called ‘jawans’ of the army who call themselves muslims and patriotic are nothing but just the tools at the hands of their enemies . What surprises me most is that though people know that this is the only truth and yet they turn away as cattles.

    More than 1.5 million people are displaced and living without proper food or shelter , first you bomb them and then you say ‘lets have food’ , you make slaves out of the people like this ………who gets the benefit , in a court the motive is sought for the crime … in this crime against humanity what is the motive , the security of power for our politicians and billions of dollars in their savings .

    Our masses who should have an opinion are far more astray than cattle , cause the army will attack you tomorrow and you will be divided between parties.

  11. Kris says:

    So sad, that our memory is so short lived that we forgot the result of military action in East Pakistan. Current military actions in NW and Baluchistan are no different than what military action did to our own people in East Pakistan. Guess who benefits?

  12. skywriter says:

    The whole nation is with pakistan army…we should support them in evreryway to get rid of these animals….just want to ask these so called true muslim, the taliban, why do they cover their faces…..are they afraid of what….should not they be afraid of only GOD…this is only one of the many other hypocrisies which they show…Taliban will be defeated inshallah.

  13. Muhammad Sultan says:

    My heart is weeping of blood all because of the fact that what ever is happening in SWAT,muslims and pakistani are dying.This is what the nation wants?

  14. I’m not able to understand that when Pakistan will get rid from American policy and when that time will come that our President dont need to go to US for dictation about our national policies….

  15. RamKay says:

    Akram says ….

    Im proud of Pak Army. I hate politicans using taliban for personal gains
    by the way , why has CJ iftikhar chaudry, bailed Maulana Abdul Aziz?


    You should be proud of your army minus the rogue officers and soldiers that are religious zealots and sympathizers of Al Quaida and Taliban. You should also be proud of your fledgling democracy, support it and nurture it.

  16. RamKay says:

    Rahamtullah, Do you want to loose your civil rights? Do you even know the meaning of emergency? It amounts abandonment of civil rights. How will emergency help the war with Taliban? You elect leaders to lead and govern, not to suppress and dicate.

  17. saad says:

    i think swat operation is going in the right direction. i will just like to convey a message to all so call pakistanis who are saying that government should declare a state of emergency that sons of nation are sacrificing their lives for the stability of the nation not for declaration of emergency,

  18. wolf says:

    I do hope Zardari and gang do not fall for the latest Taliban trick. They have agreed to withdraw from certain areas in NWFP. like Lower Dir etc. This is one last chance we Pakistanis have to start eliminating the Taliban. The Taliban are on the back foot now this is the perfect time (Summer) to start eliminating them like a cancer.If the Taliban is not eliminated from Pakistan now, they will be more than a migraine a cancer.

  19. sarakhan says:

    Freedom of speach is a human right if Pakistan government is taking a revenge from those so called talibans for practicising that right than there are other ways as well. I strongly feel we should strive to please Allah not west, killing our own muslim brothers would not solve the problem, probably would aggrevate it by creating sympathies for the fighters in the hearts of the displaced Swat and Boner citizens, who are the ones suffering most from this tragedy. Proper and effective negotiation techniques could have solved the problem. Remember, in order to bring peace U.S negotiated with insurgence in Iraq why can’t Pakistan Government treat its own people with some respect and dignity.

  20. Murtuza Babrawala says:

    The current operation against extremist Taliban and other like them must continue till we finish them off. There is no room for extremisim in Pakistan. The government, military and the people of Pakistan have risen up against these extremist after many years of sleeping over and taking only few steps to eliminate them. Now that they are awake they must continue and finish them completely.

  21. sultan hamid says:

    Its the Same war with new arguments. this so called peace deal was actually an operational pause so that new inforcements for army could be deployed to fight against militants. War mongering media portrayted Taliban as some kind of Alien force so that public opinion for this operation could be made

    Actual target of AMerica is to create a vicious Civil war in pakistan and the target of this operation are the citizens of pakistan and these poor IDP’S would become a potential Threat for existence of country as they are already furious about military operation and that what exactly happened after lal masjid massacer. Goverment should stop dancing on the tunes of America and stop this operation as soon a possible

  22. Majid Mahmood says:

    Operation “Rah-e-Haq” was launched when Prime Minister Gillani in a televised address to the ‘nation’ vowed to establish writ of the state in Malakand region. So the people of Pakistan wonder that can a writ of state be challenged by innocent people of swat that are exposed to indiscriminate artillery shelling and Ariel bombardment. The realities on the ground are very harsh as compared to the situation portrayed by so called free media. Masses are questioning that writ of the state is not challenged when hell is unleashed upon innocent people of tribal areas by American drones? , when the budget and economic policies of the country are made by the IMF? , when 48 percent of the agriculture land is abdicated by the government to the feudal lords? , when our sister the citizen of Pakistan Dr.afia is exposed to so called civilized world? , when Indian consulates together with our “ally” Americans have unleashed a deadly conflict in Pakistan?. Masses are convinced that actually government is trying to establish the writ of all those external vultures which are bent to destroy

    Govt Must stop killing innocent people of Sawat and using the blood of our brave soldiers for Obama’s failed Crusade in Afghanistan

  23. hn says:

    This would have been an ideal project for Pak and Indian Armies to work together. The outcome impacts both and the Indian army has experience dealing with these folks in Kargil and Kashmir.

  24. Tariq Mian, Canada says:

    PK GOVT should keep the Swat operation just for cleansing of criminal elements, and not harm the civilians at all.
    Pak Army should help recover the abducted/kidnapped minors during the operation.

  25. Numan - Jeddah KSA says:

    Hat’s off to Dawn News …for coverage of the Swat operation from the war front and exposing Taliban atrocities ….and highlighting valor of Pak Army by saving the Swati family who were being forced to marry their daughter to Taliban

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