Pakistan Forces Attack Taliban in Swat Valley; What Pakis Would Tell Obama
Pakistani troops launched a fresh offensive on Wednesday to retake government buildings occupied a day earlier by Taliban militants in the northern Swat valley.
Security officials said the fresh surge, which comes ahead of a crucial meeting between Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari and US President Barack Obama in Washington, was aimed at clearing Taliban from Mingora, the region’s administrative capital.
Taliban militia are believed to have planted tens of explosive devices around Swat, carefully targeting locations such as roads used by military and government vehicles. >>>
Many Pakistanis welcomed the election of President Obama as an opportunity for some fresh thinking about their troubled region.
But the honeymoon hasn’t lasted long. As Obama prepares to meet with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai this week in Washington, Pakistanis from different walks of life say they’d give the U.S. leader an earful if they, rather than their president, had a seat at the White House table.
One of their biggest complaints: the deadly drones, the hugely unpopular unmanned aircraft that are involved in spying and firing on suspected “high value” militants on Pakistani soil.
“These drones are very bad,” said Ashraf Bhatti, an apparel merchant, drinking tea in his shop with several friends in the Anjuman bazaar in Lahore. “What would America think if someone started shooting rockets and killing people in their land?” >>>
- Pakistan’s British-Drawn Borders (5 May 09)
- Pakistani Army Flattening Villages, 500,000 Could Become Displaced (5 May 09)
- The Myth of Talibanistan (4 May 09)