Control over Pakistan now in hands of Taliban: Editorial

Islamabad, Jan 7: Reacting to the recent Taliban activities, which involve kidnapping military personnel, an editorial in a Pakistani daily has said that control over the country seems to be slipping into the hands of the Taliban.

The Taliban, it seems, do not seem to be short of ideas to place under further pressure a state that is already reeling under their onslaught. Their latest tactic involves kidnapping military personnel, and thereby demonstrating just how audaciously they are able to act, the editorial in The Express Tribune stated.

On Jan ary 2, armed militants, reportedly wearing military uniform, abducted seven soldiers near Jan in Punjab. Military officials have confirmed the incident, which comes just a few days after 22 personnel of the Levies Force were kidnapped check posts on the outskirts of Peshawar. They were killed a short while later after negotiations for their release broke down.

According to editorial, it is assumed the talks from the Taliban side may have focused on the release of the hostages or ransom demands. The Jan incident follows a similar pattern. The soldiers taken hostage were on their way from Rawalpindi to stations in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa when they were kidnapped. It is assumed a demand of some kind will now be made though its nature is hard to predict, it added.

What is clear is that the Taliban are expanding their range of operations, the editorial further said. Jan is not an area they have been known to operate in before. It also seems that the militants are familiar with military movements, and their attacks meticulously staged. The use of military uniform is reminiscent of similar actions in the past, with the garments obviously realistic enough to fool real soldiers.

It is unclear how the military, which cannot even guard itself, be expected to protect the civilian population or rein in the Taliban that operates at will and are quite rapidly expanding operations to parts of the country where it previously appeared to have little ability to act, the editorial concluded. (ANI)