The current military operation against disgruntled militants is being termed as the battle for the soul of Pakistan. Some say the intellectual and political debate arising from this conflict would ultimately define the future outlook of the Pakistani state. However a keen analysis leads one to believe otherwise. The political support being created with regards to crushing Taliban militants is built on very weak notions. The rallying point is all about don'ts. The consensus created against Taliban is about what people don't want. The people, for example don't want their girls to be stopped from going to schools, market places or medical centers. They also disagree with certain other practices of the Pukhtoon tribal culture practiced by Taliban. However, the system that Pakistani state represents also offers no guarantees for things the Taliban oppose. For example the state of women's education or of Pakistani courts is problems where Pakistan ranks worst amongst other countries of the world. So the recent debate about standing up to militants is not about choosing between alternatives. It's just about people not wanting something. -MOEZ MOBEEN, Islamabad, via e-mail, May 21.