Pyrrhic victory for Pak forces against Taliban in Bajaur?

March 9th, 2009 - 5:50 pm ICT by ANI  


New York , Mar.9 (ANI): Amidst the rubble of houses and heaps of dust the Pakistan Army may proudly claim that Bajaur is under their grip as they have defeated the Taliban and rooted the outlawed organization from the region, but it is almost certain that the Taliban will bounce back.
The Taliban, which the Pak security forces claim has lost the war, is waiting to return as soon the military retracts from the region.
Several military experts and locals have expressed fears that the majority of the Taliban operatives have recoiled in to the nearby terrains, waiting to return.
Now that the terror infrastructure has been broken, as its is being claimed, the Pakistan Government must ensure a safe return of thousands of people who had migrated from the region in the recent past due to the rising extremism followed by the military operation.
If the government doesnt build and attract tribesmen back quickly, and do things to put money in their pockets, there is every likelihood of a reversion to the militants, The New York Times quoted former chief secretary of the North-West Frontier Province, Khalid Aziz, as saying.
The United States has already planned a new civilian volunteer force, backed by the paramilitary Frontier Corps, to ensure that the extremist group does not regroup and re-enter the region, a US official said, but it is not easy to convince people who have lost their all to comeback.
Many obstacles must be overcome, including convincing disaffected tribal elders who have been singled out by the Taliban and abandoned by the government that it is in their interest to return.
The Pak administration may urge people to return to their native place, but the displaced population has put their own conditions for it.
They want accountability from both the government and the Taliban, and despite assurances, many still feel that it is not safe to return.
When we returned in November they shelled us. We dont want to repeat that, a local resident said.
The Inspector General of the Frontier Corps (FC), Major General Tariq Khan has claimed that 1,600 militants were killed in the six-month campaign, but people here do not believe the figures.
They said many of the Taliban operatives have taken refuge in the mountain ranges and are waiting to hit back at a right time.
According to the report, even if Bajaur and Mohmand successfully sees the return of displaced people and establishment of peace, the real challenge for the Pakistani Army will be to thwart the Taliban and Qaeda forces from their ingrained areas in South and North Waziristan. (ANI)

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