Four Reasons for Optimism in Pakistan

Pakistan's military and government is finally turning the tide against the Taliban. Isn't it time we give them a little credit?

Imtiaz Gul in Foreign Policy:

ScreenHunter_03 Sep. 18 11.24 We in Pakistan constantly hear that our country is a hopeless mess, an ungovernable shamble of a state whose military and intelligence services are more or less on the side of global terrorists and local insurgents. But few observers seem to have noticed that, over the last five months or so, Pakistan has made an astonishing turnaround. In fact, it's time for cautious optimism about my country's fate.

For one thing, the militants are reeling from a series of significant blows. The dramatic capture of Muslim Khan and four other Taliban militants in a Sept. 3 military-intelligence sting operation is just the latest deadly strike against the embattled Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). It represents the third major setback for the dreaded outfit since Aug. 5, when a CIA-operated drone missile took out Baitullah Mehsud, TTP's founder and chief.

Only a few days after Mehsud's death, TTP spokesman Maulvi Muhammad Omar was captured in the Mohmand tribal region. The fate of Hakimullah Mehsud, whom the organization's shura purportedly picked as the new chief on Aug. 25, is still uncertain, with virtually no sign of him since the day he was made the ameer. Similarly, another fierce al Qaeda-aligned TTP leader, Maulvi Fazlullah, is handicapped by serious wounds and reportedly under siege — probably counting his days as a free icon of terror. And Shah Dauran, an infamous associate of Fazlullah who used to spread terror through mobile FM radio airwaves, is now dead.

More here. [Thanks to Feisal H. Naqvi.]