‘Swat deal shows Pak inability to stop Talibanisation’

The Swat Valley peace deal between the extremists and Pakistan government strengthens the Taliban's hand in that country,noted an eminent South Asian expert. The agreement should raise alarm bells in Washington about Pakistans' inability to stop spreading Talibanisation in the province,said Lisa Curtis.

Written by Agencies | Washington | Published:February 20, 2009 9:41 am

The Swat Valley peace deal between the extremists and Pakistan government strengthens the Taliban’s hand in that country,noted an eminent South Asian expert.

The Swat peace agreement should raise alarm bells in Washington about the Pakistani state’s inability to stop spreading Talibanisation in the province,said Lisa Curtis,Senior Research Fellow for South Asia at the prestigious Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center.

Observing the Obama administration has reacted cautiously to this news,Curtis said this sends a signal of weakness in the region precisely at the time the US needs to demonstrate resolve against the forces of extremism and terrorism.

“Washington’s prevarication on the take-over of the Swat Valley by pro-Taliban forces undermines US policy in the region and raises the critical question of why the US would send troops to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan,while standing by as Islamist extremists gain ground in neighbouring Pakistan,” Curtis said.

In a commentary released yesterday,Curtis said the the then Pakistan President Parvez Musharraf had entered in to peace agreements with the Taliban in the tribal areas in 2006.

This had resulted in a drastic increase in militant cross-border activity into Afghanistan and the strengthening of the Taliban’s influence in the region.

An earlier peace deal in the Swat Valley also fell apart and resulted in the strengthening of the TNSM. “There is little reason to believe this Swat agreement will have a different outcome,” she said.

“Unless and until the Pakistani civilian and military leadership work together to develop a bold strategy to counter the spreading militancy,it could be a matter of time before the provincial capital,Peshawar,falls under the sway of Taliban forces,essentially bifurcating the nuclear-armed state,” Curtis said.

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