When ANP leadership brokered peace with Swat TTP last year the move was widely hailed and hopes expressed that it would end the fighting in the valley. The accord however could not be sustained as there was no respite to the burning of the girls schools and government installations. While the local chapter of the TTP disowned the incidents, a perception was formed that the militant outfits connived at the incidents or lacked the clout to stop them. Meantime security officials maintained that the deal had helped the militants to regroup and expand themselves. This led to the collapse of the accord and a renewal of military operations. Before elections 2008, the militants were largely confined to three tehsils of Swat i.e. Matta, Kabal and Khwaza Khela. Within months of the collapse of the accord and initiation of the operations they established effective control all over Swat district. When foreign journalists visited the region after the ceasefire in the third week of February what they saw were Kalashnikov totting militants minding the road leading into Mingora and maintaining law and order inside the principle town of the valley. A concrete wall had been constructed to block the gate of the Mingora police station and whatever security elements were visible looked more like outlaws while the militants seemed to constitute the official law enforcing agency in control of the city. This was symbolic of the supremacy of the TTP in the valley. Both security officials and the militants have realized by now that continuing the hostilities could soon turn the most popular tourist resort into rubble without any population. What is more while fighting has led to large scale killings and destruction of property it has endeared neither the TTP nor the security forces to the population and both sides are in fact fighting for a Pyrrhic victory. The ceasefire has been widely hailed by the people of Swat. Hustle and bustle in the markets associated with normal life has returned after more than a year. Shops and offices have opened. So have boys schools, though the Taliban have yet to take a decision about opening the girls schools. There is no end to people's jubilation. Scores of thousands of displaced persons are returning with hopes of compensation for their losses. Equally important is the impact of the ceasefire on tribal areas. In Bajaur also the Taliban have declared a ceasefire, which is being reciprocated by the army. There are indications that the recently formed tripartite alliance in Waziristan between militant groups too might seek a similar deal in return for peace. There are however ominous signals emanating from certain quarters. The road to peace in Swat is littered with mines and booby traps. Disturbing events have taken place in the wake of the ceasefire. The day Sufi Muhammad reached Matta with his peace caravan, local journalist Musa Khankhel who was covering the visit was kidnapped and shot in the TTP stronghold. While the TTP has returned a Chinese engineer kidnapped form Dir as well as seven police and FC personnel, kidnapping has not completely stopped. DCO Mingora was taken away by armed militants and kept "as a host" and was released only after a number of militants in government custody were set free. An ANP worker was also whisked away by masked gunmen. While boys schools have reopened the future of girls schools remains uncertain because the TTP leadership has yet to allow education for women. No government can keep the girls out of schools if it is to abide by the constitution. It remains to be seen whether the demand for the Shariah remains confined to the establishment of Qazi courts or the hardline elements force the TTP leadership to expand it to other areas thus infringing on the constitution that the government must not allow. Sufi Muhammad's denunciation of democracy as a system opposed to Islam is a cause of concern. It remains to be seen if the TTP is genuinely seeking peace or has chosen talks only to gain time to provide its war wary fighters some respite and for reinforcement and regrouping. Another source of threat to the accord is the American administration, which thinks the accord would embolden other militants while it might be used to turn Swat into another safe haven. Statements from militant leaders like the one from Fazlullah that jihad would continue against the Americans from other fronts could strengthen Washington's resolve to oppose the accord. It is for the government team presently in Washington to assure the US that attacks from Pakistan's tribal areas will not be allowed. Whether the government leaders are able to abandon the cringing attitude that has so far characterized them and have the capacity to persuade the Obama administration to stop opposition to peace deals remains to be seen. While peace moves progress a mega rehabilitation and reconstruction policy has to be initiated in Swat to regain people's confidence. Further the local TTP has to be disarmed and government writ firmly established all over Malakand ensuring that there are no militant camps or sanctuaries. Once this is assured the Americans would be fools to insist that Pakistan army keep on fighting and thus destabilize the entire region. Can the Taliban and their American adversaries be persuaded to abandon their extreme positions and allow peace have a chance remains a question.