The Swat syndrome

This is of grave concern not only to Pakistan,but also to Afghanistan and India. Swat is the first area snatched by the Taliban....

Published: February 23, 2009 11:04:30 pm

Changes in Swat have led it to become an autonomous,independent and sovereign state within Pakistan (‘Reactive,reactionary’,IE,February 18). This is of grave concern not only to Pakistan,but also to Afghanistan and India. Swat is the first area snatched by the Taliban from the hands of a weak Zardari government. Developments such as the practice of Sharia law will worry the US and UN as well — they will find it harder to monitor the war against terror. Further,it will be increasingly difficult for the Afghan-NATO forces to hunt for terrorists who hide in safe houses inside Pakistan. The worry is that the Swat syndrome may well spread to other parts of the country.

— Suman Kukal

Chandigarh

Desperate peace

Given recent developments,Pakistan has started showing the fissures in its brawny administration earlier than expected. In the absence of active cooperation between the armed forces and the political leadership,the country appears to be too weak to put up any significant resistance to the formidable Taliban. How else can the Pakistan government’s approval of a Talibanised Swat be explained? It is merely a bid to buy peace for 10 days. For the West,which in the past has blindly supported Pakistan,this development should carry a clear message.

— Bichu Muttathara

Pune

Amma’s ploy

This refers to ‘Amma stirs poll pot’ (IE,February 20). It is definitely a shrewd move. This is similar to the situation between the BSP and SP in Uttar Pradesh — now Amma is offering a similar bait to the Congress. Jayalalithaa is well aware that the Congress will not accept her hand for various reasons,one of those being her earlier tirade against Sonia Gandhi. Her motives will no doubt be revealed during the election campaign.

— Kedarnath R. Aiyar

Mumbai

Despicable tactics

The LTTE is clearly losing ground to the Sri Lankan army. The news that the terrorist organisation is enlisting and signing up kids in their teens to replenish its depleted ranks can only be seen as a sign of desperation. Given the decimation of its strength by relentless attacks from government troops,it is but natural that the “Elam force” would resort to any means of retaining territory. The forcible recruitment of children to carry the baton of insurgency on an uninterrupted run is another ploy of the LTTE to ensure that its struggle to establish an independent Tamil state in the island’s north and east never ends. No amount of grieving will be enough for the hapless Tamil civilians in northern Sri Lanka.

— Pachu Menon

Margao,Goa

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