Change tactics to fight Taliban: DawnFebruary 15th, 2009 - 4:50 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, Feb 15 (IANS) A leading Pakistani newspaper Sunday urged the government to continue its war against the Taliban but called for a change in tactics to end civilian casualties.
“There can be no let up in military operations until the obscurantists have been routed, and dictated to in a manner supported by the majority of the nation,” the Dawn said in an editorial.
But it said that locals were demanding an end to military operations that it added were killing more civilians than militants.
The security agencies, wanting to avoid their own casualties perhaps, were reluctant to “put boots on the ground and take on the Taliban one-to-one”.
“They (security agencies) have resorted to indiscriminate artillery shelling that results in ‘collateral damage’. These are civilians, human beings, who are dying, partly at the hands of the Pakistani state,” it said.
Dawn described the situation in the once scenic Swat Valley as “dire”. Pakistani media reports say that their home grown Taliban has taken over the region, effectively spiking Islamabad’s authority on the area.