- Pakistan - Swat valley - Taliban - terrorism
Have the Taliban really lost the battle of Swat? So says the Pakistani army, announcing the imminent end of its military offensive. Yet on the ground, this victory does not seem so obvious.
Last May, the military offensive launched by Islamabad against the Taliban in Swat had pushed nearly two million people on the roads. Today, 90% of those displaced have been returning to their valley, officially at peace: the army says it has arrested or killed most of the militants who occupied the region.
But in Mingora, the largest city in Swat, it is almost as if the large ground offensive described by the military had never occurred. Insurgents have vanished into the wild, but few would rule out a fresh attempt to reclaim their territory. Anyway the real war against the Taliban doesn't take place in Swat, but in Waziristan, the rear base of the TTP (Therik-i-Taliban Pakistan), where Pakistani troops for now refuse to venture.