Pak Govt., armys concerted efforts needed to regain Swat: Experts

January 31st, 2009 - 2:31 pm ICT by ANI  


Islamabad, Jan 31 (ANI): The civilian and military leadership should make concerted efforts to regain control of the Swat Valley from militants, various defence experts have said.

Most participants at a discussion organised by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) agreed that the current turmoil in Swat was not a struggle for Sharia, but a war perpetrated by anti-Pakistan elements.

They also agreed that the army and the political leadership must act in unison to recapture the territory and authority lost to the militants.

The experts also underscored the need for the armed forces and the intelligence agencies to respond to allegations that certain Taliban outfits still enjoyed support within the establishment, the Daily Times reported.

Air Marshal (retired) Masood Akhter criticised the government for not having any policy on the Swat issue.

The government does not have any strategy to deal with the problem, he said, adding the parliament should frame a comprehensive national security policy and that the army should be given clear mission.

Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation Managing Director Brigadier (retired) Amanullah Khan said the insurgency in Swat had dealt a severe blow to the tourism industry, with the foreign tourist inflow receding to almost nil.

He said the tourist resort of Malam Jabba was in the hands of the militants, who had also pillaged the PTDC hotels in the area, causing damages worth over 123 million to the infrastructure and loss of jobs.

Brigadier (retired) Asad Munir said there was no link between the ISI and the Taliban. (ANI)

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