Is the military success in Malakand and Swat a lasting victory? The Swat Taliban under Sufi Muhammad and Fazlullah had occupied entire Malakand division. Schools, hospitals, banks, police stations, courts, government offices, power and communication facilities were bombed and destroyed. Taliban suicide bombers were causing havoc across Pakistan. Despite acceptance of Nizam-e-Adal by the government, militants captured Upper Dir, Shangla, and Buner districts, and threatened Peshawar and Islamabad. The government was left with no option but to strike with force at the miscreants. They are on the run, but are they defeated and finished? The military operation caused the exodus of two million who became IDPs. Peace loving Swatis pushed out of their homes and hearths, into the makeshift camps in sizzling midsummer, was a tragedy and test of the resilience of the suffering people. The nation stood as a rock behind the IDPs, government and the military. The Swat Taliban were defeated in Malakand and Swat by the immense firepower of the Army and PAF, and the determination of our soldiers and airmen to rid the country of terrorism. The 5,000 Taliban fighters under Fazlullah were well equipped, but their resistance quickly collapsed. The massive exodus of Swatis provided the evidence, that the masses did not support the insurgents. The IDPs are returning to their homes but the battle is not over. The insurgents are on the run, but are not dead or gone. People fear that they might return and subject them to retribution. Fazlullah and many Taliban commanders have neither been killed nor arrested. They could regroup and start ambushes and attacks again. Security of life and property of locals must be given top priority. Monetary compensation promised to them must be paid without delay. Considering lack of sympathy of the officials towards the poor and common people, complaints by the returnees are and justified. Media is highlighting the people's miseries. If the returning Swatis are denied funds as promised they will become easy targets for Taliban propaganda and brainwashing. Our politicians, especially the rulers make promises, but do not follow up on them. The provincial government's smugness will be quickly defaced and it will lose its credibility, especially if the IDPs do not get a fair deal. The Taliban will re-emerge if the people feel cheated by the ANP leadership. Creation of a strong police force, backed by armed citizenry-lashkars, return of government institutions, especially courts under "Nizam-i-Adal", to bring the killers to justice, good civil administration and uninterrupted electricity supply to the area must be given priority. A culture of ignorance and illiteracy suited and enabled the Taliban Mullah's to brainwash and mislead the people. Reconstruction and repair of all the three hundred destroyed schools and colleges must be given top priority. Twice that number be built in the rural areas of Swat and Malakand. All educated youth be trained as teachers and employed in the rural schools under a crash programme. All teachers and senior students above the age of 16 years must be given self-defence training. But will the Taliban, conspirators, and enemy agents allow peace to prevail and social progress to take place? They will again target schools and colleges. Students and the faculty must defend their institutions. The Taliban were challenging the writ of the government. Education, peace and progress is contrary to their motives. The Army must stay in Malakand and Swat, till the orderly resettlement of the IDPs and the creation of a strong and well equipped police force. The hardcore Taliban are hiding in the hills and caves of Swat and Malakand. Their warlord Fazlullah is still at large. The Swat Taliban could regroup in Kohistan, in Kaladahka and other remote areas of Mansera Division. Most of them belong to the Madrassas in Pakistan, and could have returned there. Thousands could have shaved their beards, and disappeared among the IDPs or local villagers. They are unlikely to surface in Swat and Malakand immediately, but being experts at spreading rumors and fomenting unrest, they will do everything to discredit the government policies and plans. Government's relief actions, especially the distribution of funds must be transparent. Fazlullah fought against NATO forces in Afghanistan for over a decade. Chain of FM radio stations across Swat and Malakand, and provision of cell phones, training for suicide bombings to poor illiterate boys, and launching them on suicide bombing missions prove he is are dangerous. He had established effective coordination with Baitullah Mehsud's Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. With the death of Baitullah Mehsud and infighting among some factions of TTP, especially the Mehsud and Bhittany Taliban, coordination could have become non-effective. Taliban terrorists are highly strung, emotional, violent and suspicious of fellow Taliban from other tribes and areas. The recent assassination of Zainuddin, and clashes between Mehsud and Bhittani fighters resulted in the death of seventy people proves it. Taliban influence in Pakistan has eroded as a result of suicide bombings of mosques, schools, colleges, hospitals, shops, hotels, market places and killing of innocent people at political gatherings. Pakistani people now believe that the Taliban are no good-mindless killers and assassins, out to destroy life and property. In the tribal Agencies, including Malakand and Swat, People have formed vigilante "lshkars"-volunteers fighters, to fight the Taliban killers and extremists to protect themselves from violence and death. Military action in Swat and Malakand was urgently needed to restore peace and writ of the government. The Pakistani military has done a good job, and endeared the armed forces to the nation. The military's conduct as a fighting institution at the service of the government and the people has created love and respect for it across the country. But Taliban have gained strength in the southern and eastern provinces of Afghanistan. The recent suicide bombings out side the NATO Headquarters in Kabul and scores of causalities suffered by ISAF and Afghan troops, is testimony to the fact that ridding Afghanistan of the Taliban will not be easy. And if the Taliban in Afghanistan gain strength, Pakistani Taliban will not only have a sanctuary in that country, but a source of supply as well. The next mission of the Pakistani armed forces is to bring normalcy to North and South Waziristan. The military planning for this mission seems to be in order. The Pakistan Air Force has been given the mission to "soften up", the terrorist resistance, by accurate bombing of high value targets. The targets are dispersed and hidden in caves, bunkers, trenches in culverts and difficult terrain. With precision guided weapons, missiles and guided bombs much greater accuracy of air attacks is being achieved. Pakistan Air Force has flown three hundred ground strike missions and inflicted fair amount of damage on the Taliban insurgents in Swat. Over one hundred such sorties have already been flown against Taliban insurgents in Waziristan. After the death of Baitullah Mehsud; with disarray in the ranks of TTP insurgents and continued air strikes, there are likely to be more defections, with the demoralized Taliban wishing to surrender, or form lashkars for self defence. This should be encouraged under the present stick and carrot policy. With the decision to allow the political parties to function in all the seven tribal Agencies of the FATA it is time that they defined their political and economic agendas for the tribal region. They should come out of their airconditioned drawing rooms, and head for the tribal towns and cities, to assist the tribal people who have seen nothing but suffering since the last three decades. If the politicians dedicate themselves sincerely to the service of the suffering, distraught and tortured tribal brothers and sisters, the chances of re-emergence of the Taliban will recede. The tribal masses must be brought on board in the political and economic life of the country in the interest of long term peace and amity in the border regions and the country.