The battle is on for the soul of Pakistan. Muslims of the subcontinent have been practicing their faith for centuries and now comes Taliban with their monstrously altered version of Islam. They must be stopped and they must be defeated Militarily. The operation against the Taliban has begun in Swat. It will be bloody and messy and the only solution is a complete and decisive victory which crushes these renegades and imposes the writ of the state in a manner that scares the hell out of any future adventurers. This can only come about when the Military feels that it has the effective backing of the entire nation and the political class. My own sources tell me that Army was reluctant to start the operation mainly because of the bitter lessons it learned from the Laal Masjid/Red mosque operation. The seminary was destroyed and the terrorists were killed but the blow back has haunted the army to the present day. Propaganda was drummed up by the religious/ right wing parties parties which accused the army of killing innocents. The suicide bombings after the operation went through the roof.
Taliban terrorists use religion to justify just about anything and they seem to have been getting away with it. This is an old story in Pakistan where first the clergy and than the establishment used and abused religion to gain political mileage. The Taliban represent the final and extreme product of using such a strategy. Taliban must be crushed and their clean shave sympathizers must be silenced with an effective media campaign.
It is time for the powerful media and the civil society to come out on the streets against such extremism and support the army full heartily. The army and the Frontier Corps need to feel the backing of the nation when they take on these fascists.