Pak Army fears erosion of public support if Swat offensive persists

May 19th, 2009 - 12:44 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Lahore, May 19 (ANI): The Pakistan military leadership is worried that the longer the Swat offensive against the Taliban persists, public support will erode.

The Pakistan Army’s heaviest battle against the Taliban is being fought in the Malakand division, The Time has pointed.

Although the military claims to have restored control over 80 percent of Buner, reports from the area suggest fierce fighting is still underway there and in Lower Dir.

The commanders are keen to wrap up operations in Buner and Lower Dir within days in order to focus on Swat, where an estimated 4,000 well-armed, well-trained Taliban are entrenched.

The army claims that the local Taliban there have received reinforcements from Waziristan, southern Punjab and jihadists from Central Asia.

“Ten percent of the militants have come from outside,” the Daily Times quoted Major General Athar Abbas, as saying.

In military’s plan for retaking Swat, eliminating the Taliban command structure is the priority.

Aware that public support for the campaign is likely to ebb, the government and the military recognise that they have a limited time in which to work. (ANI)

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