I never accepted explanation by Asfandyar Wali, leader from the NWFP, that the agreement Islamabad had reached with the Taliban on the rule of Shariat in the Swat Valley and the five adjoining districts would put a stop to their advance. He was not happy over the understanding reached but, as he told me, they had no other option when the government found that the people in Pakistan were not opposed to the introduction of Shariat even in the whole country. When Islam was the foundation on which the structure of Pakistan was built, chastising those who claimed to bring back true Islam was not possible, he argued. I now realize that Wali's point was valid. By allowing the Taliban to assume power in six districts, Islamabad exposed their contention before the public. When on the first flush of authority at Swat, they said that Islam did not believe in democracy, demolished 200 girls' schools, and chastised a seven-year-old girl before TV cameramen, Islamabad's calculation came true. The Pakistanis realized that what the Taliban were trying to bring back was not the true version of Islam. There was a feeling of horror all over the country as the Taliban talked in the language of brim and stone. For Islamabad, it was a pact with good faith. But for the Taliban, it was a steppingstone for a rule that wanted to do away with democracy and all that went with it. Their advance meant the destruction of the institutions that Pakistan has built so far. Once there was sympathy for the Taliban. They were considered a set of people who were trying to remove the deficiencies that had crept in Islam over the years. People's mood has changed now. They are angry to find what a set of fanatics the Taliban have turned out to be and how they are trying to destroy Pakistan. Some well-meaning Muslim leaders are still supporting them in the hope that they can retrieve the Taliban. The support by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who once headed a conglomeration of six religious parties, and the Jammat-e-Islami, has stopped meaning anything. The two are, in fact, considered a stumbling block in the way of the army which has already captured the Swat Valley and moved to Mingora town and other places where the Taliban have taken shelter. It is not going to be a short operation because the army would have to go into the caves and other hiding places in the deep mountainous areas. There is yet another factor that has made all the difference in the thinking of people. When the dead bodies of officers and the Pakistani soldiers from Swat and other places arrive in their hometowns - Lahore, Multan or Faislabad - people's anger heightens. Apart from sharing the grief, they raise slogans against the brutalities committed by the Taliban. The anger is rising and so is the support for the army action. The manner in which the army has destroyed many hideouts of the Taliban, killing them in great number, has given hope to the people that the extremists would be ultimately defeated. In fact, people regretfully recall how the Taliban were built by General Ziaul Haq and even sustained by the late Benazir Bhutto who used to say that they were "her children." This unthinking support made the Taliban bold and helped them penetrate into the society. Some gullible Pakistanis still help them. The blast which has taken place in Lahore this week at a busy road, killing some 30 people, shows that there are insiders helping the Taliban. The society on the whole will have to cleanse the stable if such incidents are to be stopped. The fallout that is assuming dangerous proportion is the influx of refugees from the Swat and its adjoining areas. Roughly two million people are said to have fled from there and Wazirstan. Feeding them is a problem which the US and European assistance is mainly taking care of. But the real solution is how to relocate them. Refugees seeking shelter in Sind, governed by Zardari's Pakistan People's Party, are being opposed by the MQM, a party of migrants from UP and Bihar. They do not want more people to come to Karachi and other Sind towns which they have pointed out are already choking facilities like sewage and electricity. Making people of a state welcome in another state of even their co-religionists is a difficult proposition because it poses problems to those who are already living in reasonable comfort. I recall that Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri wrote personal letters to the state chief ministers, when the migrants from East Pakistan began to pour into Assam. But his pleading for rehabilitation has had no effect on any state except Madhya Pradesh which offered space for only 25,000. The number was too small in the face of demand of lakhs. In fact, India has not been able to solve the problem of rehabilitation of the oustees. Take the case of people uprooted from the Narmada Valley. Pakistan will find the problem of rehabilitation even harder because the influx of population can change the complexion of population, a development which has political overtones. Pakistan has to integrate its country first. The nation must rise above parochialism to feel as one united people. It is necessary for Pakistan to become a pluralistic society. If India with so many religions, languages, castes and even standards of living can emerge as one nation, why can't Pakistan which has the advantage of pursuing only one religion?