Pakistani Public Sees Taliban as Dangerous; New Front Opened at Peochar

Pakistani troops say that they have cleared Buner of Taliban guerrillas: “‘Normalcy is returning to Buner. People have started harvesting their crops and shops are reopening in the district. . .”

Pakistani troops opened a new front in Peochar, where there was heavy fighting on Wednesday. Helicopter gunships and fighter jets continued to pound Taliban targets.

Interactive map of Pakistani military operations in the north-west.

A Gallup poll done in Pakistan in December, 2008, reveals that the presence of the Taliban in some areas of the country is viewed as a negative by nearly half of Pakistanis, with only 1 in 6 saying it is positive and another large bloc refusing to state an opinion.

Gallup Poll Results: Presence of Taliban in Parts of the Country Negative or Positive?

Punjab:

Negative: 60%

Sindh:

Negative: 44%

North-West Frontier Province:

Negative: 49%
Positive: 10%
Don’t Know: 41%

Baluchistan:

Negative: 22%
Postive: 21%
Don’t Know: 58%

Pakistan as a whole:

Negative: 47%
Positive: 14%
Don’t Know: 39%

Could not afford food for their families in the past year

Pakistan: 30%
North-West Frontier Province: 33%

Riz Khan of Aljazeera English interviews human rights activist and feminist Asma Jehangir on the rise of Talibanism in northwest Pakistan. She blames the Pakistani military for much of it, and condemns Saudi Arabia as an instigator.

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