By most accounts Pakistan’s military operation in the Swat Valley was successful. They drove militants out of the area and cleared the way for refugees to return. But there are problems which lay ahead, especially in the district’s largest city Mingora:
- Landowners and the economic elite fear returning because of a Taliban strategy to exploit class distinction and to target them for theft and kidnapping.
- Refugees returning home are confronted with some harsh realities of military occupation and a bankrupt local economy.
- And largely due to aerial bombings and Taliban sabotage, much of the area is in ruins.
Add to that today’s decapitation of a police constable and reports that most of Swat’s Taliban leadership is still at large.
The good news: police arrested the “godfather“