Forget Pakistan's Claims: Taliban Is Only Hiding Out

Military's paltry victory gives fighters opening to reclaim stronghold
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2009 3:45 PM CDT
A Pakistani displaced girl looks trough a hole at the kitchen tent in the Jalozai camp in Peshawar, Pakistan, Thursday, June 25, 2009.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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(Newser) – Pakistan is crowing over its victories against militants in the Swat Valley, but the Taliban has simply retreated to fight another day, Jane Perlez and Pir Zubair Shah write in the New York Times. Pakistan, which only controls roads and urban centers, hasn't even killed one Taliban leader. "Most of the Taliban shaved their beards, and they are living here with their families" in refugee camps, a local mayor said.

Worse, Pakistan lacks the cash and skills to implement social change, like new courts and schools. And some 2 million people remain displaced. Many were fed up with Taliban rule, but others are just as angry about Army shelling and far-flung refugee camps. “We had no problem with the Taliban,” said one poultry trader. “We’re here because of the military shelling."