While the operation in Swat goes on, the question is how serious are the people and their government in rising to the challenge. Analysts see a far greater level of resolve and a realisation within leadership of the seriousness of threat to Pakistan. The objective must not be confined to driving out the Taliban from the cities and leave the rural areas open to them to unite and recuperate. If the Taliban are not completely flushed out of the land, they will resurface in no time at all. The military operation must be followed up with economic and political reforms. The civil administration would have to be brought back on its feet. The public opinion has finally tilted in favour of the government and the APC was also unanimous in its support. Until now, Pakistanis were divided over the operation in Swat. Perhaps the whole exercise of signing a peace agreement with the TNSM of Sufi Muhammad and its subsequent visible failure was not such a futile effort after all. This proved to the world that the government did make an effort for peace but the religious extremists did not keep their part of the bargain. Finally, the people have started overcoming the fear of the Taliban and are publicly protesting against their actions. This notion has been strengthened by massive exodus of people from Malakand, which shows that they want their houses safe and return to their homes safely and securely. -ESCHMALL SARDAR, Peshawar, via e-mail, May 22.