Recently the government has agreed to implement Nizam-i-Adl in Malakand and Kohistan region. This step has attracted mixed reaction from diverse segments of the population. Some have viewed it as tantamount to surrendering to the militant's and others have welcomed it as a genuine effort to establish peace in the troubled region. But the people of Swat have, for sure, taken a sigh of relief for the time being and come out in crowds to support the agreement between the TNSM and the NWFP government. The ANP government has asserted to hold the deal at any cost but the president has termed it an interim arrangement. The said regulation seeks to introduce Qazi courts invested with the power to adjudicate cases in line with Islamic Sharia. It also provides for the disposal of civil and criminal cases within a stipulated period of six and four months respectively. The quarters denouncing this deal as "an act of desperation" have reservations. They argue that the Taliban have not limited objectives and all efforts to woo such extremists are doomed to failure. They object to the existence of different legal-cum-judicial systems working in a federation. Such observers are critical of the inhumane treatment meted out to the native population by the Taliban. According to them, the government has conceded defeat to the rebels challenging the writ of the state and it will do little than to bolster the Taliban's intransigent demands. The deal would provide the latter breathing space to prepare for launching another offensive and make government recede further backwards. The other view in connection with the Swat deal is that it will pave ground for real peace efforts and take wind out of the Taliban's sail. This argument is premised on the assumption that the Taliban's obscurantist practices will cause to them the loss of public support and remove the misconceptions as to the government's stance. If we undertake a dispassionate analysis of the situation, it becomes crystal clear that the government has been left with no option but to strike a deal at this juncture and craft a long-term consistent policy in this regard. Since the accession of Swat in 1969, the successive governments have not taken any effective step to integrate the region keeping in view the context of local circumstances. The arbitrary policies have just deteriorated the situation by the day and today the chickens have come home to roost. Our military was fighting a guerrilla warfare in Swat and the inevitable increasing loss of civilian lives was alienating the support of local population which is the key to success in counterinsurgency. The West has expressed its displeasure over the truce between the government and the Taliban. In fact the US has not realised that the militants cannot be defeated by the use of force alone. Obama is pursuing a strategically flawed policy in Afghanistan which has direct repercussions in adjoining areas of Pakistan. He considers Afghanistan and Pakistan as two theatres in the same war but the implications of this heuristic assumption will exacerbate the security situation in Afghanistan and tribal belt of Pakistan. It is time for the government to detach itself from the US chariot and undertake reconstruction efforts in conflict-torn areas. The government authorities cannot gainsay the fact that confusion has marked their policy in regard to Swat and other northern areas. Disconnect between the government and the army has been evident on many occasions. The streamlining of governance framework in the war-wracked zone must be top priority of the incumbent government for securing permanent peace in Swat. The government needs to realise that the critics apprehensions carry weight. The peace agreements alone cannot turn things around rather a holistic strategy is required to bring about radical reforms. A comprehensive development strategy must be launched with the provision of basic health and education facilities. The construction of roads, schools and hospitals will help placate the disgruntled segments of the tribal population and the local people would not hesitate to take side with the government against the extremists. In Neville Chamberlain's words: "War wins nothing, cures nothing.... In war there are no winners only losers." The writer is an advocate