WHILE the arrest of the Spokesman of the Swat Taliban Muslim Khan along with four of his commanders reflects the seriousness of the military to deal effectively with the problem of terrorism, it is disturbing to find some contradictions in the claims of the military and the arrested Taliban. While the former has stated that the arrests were made as part of a military operation, the latter claim they were duped into coming for talks and then arrested. There needs to be some clarity on this count. There is nothing wrong with talks from a position of state strength, alongside military operations; even the US-NATO combine in Afghanistan is realising the need to talk to what are euphemistically being called good Taliban. However, the purpose of this sensible two-pronged approach will be defeated if the credibility is not there. In the same vein, it was a welcome development to see the COAS, General Kiyani, visiting Dir to boost the morale of the soldiers as well as the local population. His mingling with the local leaders was a recognition that the battle against terrorism can only be won with the support of the people. This is the only way to create an environment of space denial for the terrorists. However, it seems unnecessary to adopt a rigid and uncompromising posture with regard to talks with the extremists distasteful though it may be. After all, in situations where the extremists are primarily from amongst the citizens, an effort to bring them back into the mainstream cannot and should not be ruled out as long as they are prepared to lay down their arms and accept the writ of the state. In the month of Ramazan and the occasion of Eid, one should do what one can to mitigate the suffering of our fellow beings. This is also the time for forgiveness. While one realizes the need to deal firmly with those using terror and violence, it reflects an unnecessarily vengeful approach for the state to declare that there will be no halt to the military operations even during these days. The Army seems to have regained the initiative in Swat; it is also succeeding in its indirect strategy of causing fissures amongst the Taliban in FATA having resisted the US suicidal advice for an all-out military operation. Now it needs to bolster this position by reaching out to the people of the area and insisting the civilian government bring in the requisite infrastructure. Making people realise they have a stake in the system is essential in denying sanctuary to the terrorists; showing a sense of humane understanding may win over the misguided extremists into laying down their arms. That would truly be a healing victory for the Pakistani state and nation.