Pakistanis Finally Turning Against the Taliban
Swat Valley battles push citizens away from Islamic extremism
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2009 6:58 AM CDT
Displaced men struggle to get their daily ration during a food distribution at the Chota Lahore refugee camp, at Swabi, in northwest Pakistan, Saturday, May 30, 2009.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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(Newser) – Only a year ago the Taliban had growing support in Pakistan, and many citizens regarded them as fellow Muslims opposed to the American government and military. But as the New York Times reports, public sentiment has shifted in recent months. Following violence in the Swat Valley and months of televised suicide attacks, Pakistanis are increasingly turning against the Taliban and offering the government a new chance to rout the extremist movement.

"It’s the Taliban that’s responsible for our misery," said one Swat refugee, who said he supported the military campaign against the insurgency. Anti-Americanism still runs high in Pakistan, and the poverty and corruption that allowed the Taliban to flourish have not gone away. But the Taliban's brutality in Swat seem to have cost them support. One man was eager for Taliban rule but is now disgusted: "It was not sharia, it was something else. It was scoundrel behavior."