In spite of heavy military shelling, the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) very much retains the upper hand in the Swat Valley. And while the national government and the military continue to look for the formula through which its oft-tried seldom successful tactic of shelling will eventually return them to control over the region. The local politicians suggest a different tack.
“The military operation has been proven useless and fruitless. Before the operation, the Taliban was in control of 25 percent of Swat, now they control 75 percent,” declared Sayed Ala ud-Din, a member of parliament for the ruling Pakistani People’s Party (PPP). That is more or less par for the course for the military in trying to retake the tribal areas by force.
Ala ud-Din has also confirmed a report that the TTP has sent a draft peace proposal to the provincial government, and that he and others will be working “to persuade the president to approve it.” With the national government still eying a military solution, that approval may be difficult to obtain.