ARMY spokesman Maj-Gen Athar Abbas has maintained that he sees Swat as a political problem, which can only be partially solved by military intervention and he claimed many of the Talibans arms are coming across the border from Afghanistan. He agreed when asked whether that included Nato weapons, as suggested in recent reports. He said Washington was too focused on the safety of Pakistans nuclear arsenal. The United States should stop worrying about the nukes and start worrying about the weapons lost in Afghanistan, he said in an interview with the CNN. He described the conflict in Swat as an existential threat - a fight for the very existence of Pakistan in its current form. And he seemed acutely aware that the portrayal of that conflict to the West would be critical. The office of Maj-Gen Athar Abbas has a bank of six flat-screen televisions covering most of one wall, showing all the main international English-language news channels, and several local ones besides, according to a CNN report. This is one of the rooms where Pakistans media war is being fought, and Maj Abbas, the Pakistan Armys main spokesman, is a key part of the battle. CNN correspondent Dan Rivers says, I kid with him that CNN isnt among the channels on his screens, and he seems slightly hurt, insisting it is. Hes right and Im wrong - CNN was on a commercial break. In fact, I rather get the impression Abbas, who has become the face of the Armys operation against Taliban militants in the Swat Valley, watches our coverage closely. One of his subordinates complains about one of our reports - not the accuracy, but something in the general tone, he adds. The correspondent says whatever Abbas thinks of CNN, he is more than willing to explain how the Pakistan army sees the broad picture as it fights in the Swat Valley. The current conflict there is intricately linked to the situation in Afghanistan, in his view. A US government report last month warned that the Pentagon did not have complete records for about one-third of the 242,000 weapons the United States had provided to the Afghan army, or for a further 135,000 weapons other countries sent. The Afghan army cannot fully safeguard and account for weapons, the Government Accountability Office found. When asked how Taliban are well armed the Taliban, the Army spokesman replied they were very well equipped from the border area. He also conspiratorially suggested they also were getting weapons and support from foreign intelligence agencies. When asked what that meant, he smiled and said he cant elaborate - declining to repeat the speculation in the press here that India may be somehow involved in stirring up trouble on Pakistans northwestern border. But the very suggestion plays to a military strategists nightmare scenario - the Pakistan Army bogged down in the northwest, unable to focus on the disputed province of Kashmir, a key element of its conflict with India, according to the CNN. The military wants to get done in Swat as soon as possible, but Maj-Gen Abbas acknowledged troops would be there for some time. He estimated that 10 to 15 per cent of the Taliban there were foreign fighters: Well-trained Arabs, Afghans, with a sprinkling of central Asians and North Africans. He also said there were Yemenis, Saudis and Uzbeks fighting, as Pakistan had become the destination du jour of the international jihadist, with Arabs in commanding positions and the other foreign fighters bringing in expertise. He said he thought that perhaps Mingora, the main town at the gateway to the Swat Valley, might be secured in 48 hours, but it might be much, much longer before the area was totally pacified. First you have to disarm the Taliban and then re-establish the writ of government, he said. He admitted that Swat and neighbouring Bajaur districts were lost to the state and that now we are paying in blood for areas we had already occupied. Now, he said, the Army is set for a long fight. We are prepared for that - we are mentally prepared. But, according to the CNN, they are also prepared for the conflict to be taken to other parts of Pakistan. An ISI building was attacked in Lahore this week. The Taliban claimed they carried out the attack and Maj Abbas said the security services expected more attacks. The broadcast says there is also the risk of the Taliban using the mass exodus of civilians from the Swat Valley as cover to penetrate other towns and cities. Already almost three million people have flooded out of what was once a tranquil tourist destination, and the military fears that among the mass movement of humanity there will be those plotting to strike at the heart of Pakistans cities. Its a very big issue a serious concern, Abbas said.