An editorial in a Pakistani daily has said that victory over the Taliban [ Images ] in the Swat and Malakand Divisions of the country's North West frontier Province can only be accepted and certified after it is confirmed that the top leadership of the insurgents is defeated and eliminated.
According to the editorial in The Dawn newspaper, the demand of the hour is that the security forces 'do more' to reclaim the Swat once and for all. Mere carping will not do, it adds.
The day after the residents of Swat came out on the streets to celebrate Independence Day, a suicide bomber struck on a road about a dozen kilometres from the district's headquarters, Mingora, killing three soldiers and two civilians at a security checkpoint.
That, the editorial says, is a grim reminder that the battle for the control of Swat is far from over.
"Despite the apparent successes of Operation Rah-i-Rast, launched over three months ago, there is still at least one major outstanding issue: the capture or elimination of the top tier of the militant leadership in Malakand division," it says.
It claims that several top commanders may have decamped to the northern fringes of Swat, hiding in the hills at heights of over 7,000 feet above sea level.
What it says is the most worrying factor is that the militant leaders have not felt the need to go incommunicado, which suggests that the militants are still reasonably comfortable.