I would like to draw your attention towards what is going on in Darra Adam Khel where militants have practically held people of the area hostage. For the past one-month, the so-called Tehrik e Taliban militants have been harassing the local population. They kidnap whosoever they want to and ask for huge sums as ransom. So far they have abducted a number of peace-loving people including teachers, students, even the local Maliks and killed the hostages whose relatives were unable to meet their demands for ransom. My brother, a respected schoolteacher, was kidnapped and later killed because he refused to support their activities. All this they do in the areas where they are universally hated by all. The local people do not recognize them as their saviors nor do they consider them real Muslims. The militants use kidnapping as a tactic for ransom as well as commanding local support. The local populace does not like the military operations either but no one knows how else can these militants be countered. I assure you if they are not stopped with full might here, they would hold the entire country hostage one day. As it is, they are regularly attacking even security forces personnel using the hit and run tactics against them at places like Tunnel Top, Spina Thana, Miward Fort, Kotal Fort and Gari Sar. They have also made a number of suicide attacks to devastating effect. The people are sick of living at gunpoint. They demand of the government a ruthless operation in the area. -A TEACHER, Kohat, via e-mail, September 21.