Chairing an important operational meeting of the military top brass at the GHQ on Friday, April 24, General Kayani admitted that doubts were being voiced about the intent and capability of the army to defeat the militants. He reiterated that the Pakistan Army never has and never will hesitate to sacrifice whatever it may take, to ensure safety and well-being of the people of Pakistan and the country's territorial integrity and that victory against terror and militancy will be achieved at all costs. His words appear to be milk and honey to the people of Pakistan who had begun to despair at the Swat situation. The question arises, why had "doubts" crept in and why was the army being accused of "indifference" to the situation in Swat? The situation in Swat has taken a turn that detractors of the Peace Deal are crying foul. Harbingers of doom and gloom are adding to the despondency through stories that the Taliban are only a 100 kilometres away from Islamabad. Stories in a local English and its counterpart Urdu daily quoting interior ministry sources that "Five top Taliban commanders, who are close aides of Mehsud, have left North Waziristan for Islamabad, allegedly with 300 suicide bombers, to attack Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore", do not help matters. The same get quoted by the western media who threaten attacks by the infamous "daisy-cutter" bombs if Pakistan does not take action itself. The BBC added to the pandemonium with its disclosure quoting locals that Taliban have looted seven trucks loaded with chemical fertiliser 'ammonium nitrate' in Swat which, according to security officials, the insurgents use for making bombs. Another English daily jumped into the fray with the disclosure that a terrorist group based in adjacent tribal area has been tasked by the intelligence agency of a neighbouring country to hit the Peshawar International Airport and other key installations in the Cantonment area with multi-barrel rockets. The people of Swat as well as the ANP government are keen to ensure that the Peace Deal succeeds. The army would be more than willing to see to it that peace prevails. However, the militants appear reluctant to lay down arms, which was a prerequisite to the deal. Armed Taliban entered Buner; after being asked by the NWFP, majority of them vacated the locale but some Taliban remain, occupying strategic posts. On Saturday Taliban blocked the main highway linking Swat with the rest of the country to stop a military convoy carrying supplies to Mingora, but a major clash was averted after intervention by the ANP-led provincial government. It appears that at times mellow and at times breathing fire and brim stone Sufi Muhammad is not calling the shots. His son-in-law, the Swat Taliban commander Fazlullah announced on Saturday that the Taliban would only accept "Islam's writ" in the valley. In a speech on his illegal FM radio channel, he said that the Taliban were "ready to offer more sacrifices" if Shariah law was not implemented in Malakand division. At the same time, warning against any fresh military action in Swat Valley, TTP spokesman Haji Muslim Khan said that they were abiding by the agreement and the government would be responsible for breaching the truce if they launched another operation. The army's quandary to take action is thwarted by developments like on Sunday, addressing a big public meeting in Swari, leaders of the PPP, ANP, PPP (Sherpao), JUI-F, PML-Q, TNSM, Tablighi Jamaat and Ishaat Tauheed-Wal Sunnah opposed the deployment of troops in Buner. A resolution adopted at the meeting said that army deployment in the district would not be accepted and the government should respect the opinion of all political parities. Meanwhile, in Lower Dir, security forces are battling the miscreants in a counter attack. Over 50 militants, including a local Taliban commander, have been killed, with the security forces also suffering some losses. Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Interior Minister for the NWFP, claims that plans to establish Shariah courts throughout Malakand would proceed but that the government would not tolerate Taliban vigilantes. PM Gordon Brown, who had a day-long tumultuous visit to Islamabad on Monday, expressed his concerns regarding the situation in the tribal belt and Swat stating: "There is a crucible of terrorism in the mountainous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan." Hillary Clinton and Richard Holbrooke have voiced their consternation repeating their old apprehension regarding Pakistan's nuclear weapons falling in the hands of extremists. The trying circumstances necessitate the people, the Parliament and opinion builders including politicians, setting their personal grudges aside and uniting to evolve a concerted strategy to thwart the perils of extremism facing Pakistan. The media plays an essential role in the dissemination of this strategy to the people and the world at large. Perhaps our countrymen have been under the yoke of army-rule far too long and they look to the GHQ for reassurance in moments of national crisis, rather than the Parliament. The fact is that the army is squarely placed under the civilian government and the COAS has reiterated time and again that he acts under the directions of the chief executive i.e. the PM through his defence minister. Any reassurance must come from the government and not the GHQ. The writer is a political and defence analyst and hosts a TV programme Defence & Diplomacy