Pakistan’s schools remained shuttered again today, the fall out of a Tuesday bombing against the nation’s largest university, and officials indicated the closure would continue for at least a week, perhaps the most visible sign that the war in South Waziristan is going to be a long one.
And unlike the nation’s military offensives into Bajaur or the Swat Valley, this most assuredly is a war, with the military encountering stiff resistance across the tiny South Waziristan Agency and the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) hitting locations across the country, seemingly at will.
The death tolls are also surprisingly different. Whereas in the smaller offensives of the past the military claimed gaudy kill totals that dwarfed the number of fighters they even believed were in a given area, the intense fighting across South Waziristan seems to be yielding no more than a few dozen casualties a day, likely a product of the hostile terrain and the TTP’s preparations for the long-threatened invasion.
For the hundreds of thousands of civilians taking flight from the agency, the situation could quickly turn disastrous. Winter is just on the horizon, and very little arrangement has been made to help the refugees of the war. Also unlike the previous offensives, this seems unlikely to be resolved in a few months, and many of the tribesmen doubt it will be resolved at all.
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