Pakistan is Fighting But is This a Serious Effort To Destroy The Taliban?

FACED with catastrophe, Pakistan still has time to play the dead-man’s hand it holds. The question is whether its leaders are betting or bluffing.

The recent, belated military response to the Taliban’s dissection of the country, combined with the disgust locals feel over extremist excesses, offers a potential winning formula.

By Ralph Peters
New York Post

Unless Pakistan’s government chooses to lose.

First, consider the current offensive to drive Taliban fighters from Buner and parts of the Swat Valley. Sounds great. But we’ve already bought that used car, only to see it break down pulling out of the lot.

Yes, the Pakistani army and its paramilitary Rangers are fighting. But the key questions are “For how long?” and “How far will they go?” A limited operation will have limited results. The religious extremists must be destroyed if Islamabad wants a return of peace and order.

Overheated news reports focus on refugees and distant air strikes. But every battle seems like the big one to the inexperienced. You can’t tell what’s really gone down until the dust settles.

Read the rest:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/05122009/po
stopinion/opedcolumnists/paks_p
oker_hand_168800.htm

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