Two days into the Pakistani military’s offensive into the Buner District, dozens of the captured security forces remain in the custody of the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan fighters contesting government control over the region. The group has also burned a police station, thrown the body of a police officer into a river, and captured the entire town of Sultanwas.
Incredibly in view of the wide array of serious news about serious opposition to what many had assumed would be another in Pakistan’s long line of brief military offensives, military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas hailed the operation as successful.
And while Abbas described what he called a “wave of suicide car bombers,” he insisted that the Swat Valley peace deal remains intact. At the same time, the military has cut phone lines in Buner and has been barring journalists from entering the area, so the reality on the ground remains uncertain, at best.