Taliban Resume Attacks in Swat Valley

Taliban militants driven from the Swat Valley by Pakistan's army in recent months are again infiltrating the region's towns and villages, kidnapping and beheading perceived enemies and ambushing soldiers, as hundreds of thousands of refugees return home. Full Story »

Posted by Kaizar Campwala
Derek Hawkins
3.8
by Derek Hawkins - Jul. 30, 2009

News media are having a hard time giving consistent answers to the same question: What's the situation in Swat? Depends on who you talk to, it appears. This story quoted from several Swat residents and some local military people, and reports that the Taliban has already *resumed* attacks in the region. CNN, meanwhile, paints a considerably more rosy picture, based mostly on military and UNICEF information: Taliban forces have fled, but it's going to be a while before things return to normal. The Guardian, focusing on one man's return home from a refugee camp, put it somewhere in the middle -- the army has "newfound resolve" and normal life is "percolating," but Bakht Biland still hears gunfire. Dawn does a cursory job explaining ... More »

The way Western diplomats and some media sang the praise of the Pakistani army, it's no wonder that many want to believe Taliban fighters have been driven back into their caves.

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Fabrice Florin
3.8
by Fabrice Florin - Jul. 30, 2009

Informative report on the resurgence of militant violence in Swat Valley. This article provides a factual update from the ground, with perspectives from both officials and residents.

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Chris Finnie
4.3
by Chris Finnie - Jul. 30, 2009

Good piece about a topic that's sort of fallen off the news radar of late.

Another grammatical peeve. This headline would be perfectly correct in the U.K. where they see an organization or sports team as a collection of individuals and therefore use the name of an organization as a plural noun. In the U.S., however, we use the same term as a singular noun with a corresponding number in the associated verb--in this case "resumes." I was not aware that the WSJ had adopted British English as their standard. They don't appear to have in other cases.

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Kaizar Campwala
3.7
by Kaizar Campwala - Jul. 27, 2009

I'm impressed with the number of 'person on the street' interviews they got for this story. But there's not necessarily that much information in this piece, nor deep analysis that explains, or even hints at the 'why?' question.

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Emma Asomba
4.0
by Emma Asomba - Jul. 29, 2009

The authors managed to describe in a concise, simple (of course on paper) and straightforward way of the ups and downs of counter-insurgency operations. Kudos because they seem to get some really hard to get eyewitness accounts from military commanders and civilians. A smart way to inject accuracies as opposed to some recurring fantasy-filled stories of counter-insurgency operations that can be found in our now open marketplace of ideas and reporting.

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Barbara Michael
3.3
by Barbara Michael - Jul. 30, 2009

On-site coverage from 2 reporters gathering facts and impressions from local military, Swat residents, and Taliban to show how recent Swat military offensive is not the last word on Taliban action.

Frankly, I am disheartened by the neverending conflict coverage. What are the roots of the conflict? What is the larger context of this conflict? What back channel discussions are taking place? What do local people want to see happen? What is a peacemaker''s view of the situation? Other than fighting to exhaustion, what could end the conflict? In what ways is the US involved?

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Gatlin Massey
4.1
by Gatlin Massey - Jul. 27, 2009

This is quality journalism because the author presents facts from persons involved on the street level as well as in the upper chains of command in the military.

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Joey Baker
3.7
by Joey Baker - Jul. 30, 2009

Good on the ground reporting. Lots of quotes.

“The situation is still uncertain,” said Shazeb Ali, 28 years old, who returned to his home and mobile-phone shop in Mingora two weeks ago. “We can hear ... More »

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Jeff Harris
4.0
by Jeff Harris - Jul. 28, 2009

It clearly defines the problem with out asigning blame or postureing. Also it shows how special interests are short circuting our national policies and constructive intentions.

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buzzdaly
5.0
by buzzdaly - Jul. 27, 2009

it answers the questins raised by the lstory

the taliban needs to be eradicated

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Sarah Smith
3.7
by Sarah Smith - Jul. 30, 2009

It is quality journalism; in the context of the method of media this story covers, it is well written and as in depth as possible.

This is a wonderful service! I am a graduate student of international affairs and am researching the Taliban conflict in Pakistan. I was disgusted with the lack of credible journalism and research on this topic. Thank you

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Michael Duby
4.5
by Michael Duby - Jul. 30, 2009

Well written for the WSJ.

Information minister of North West Frontier Province - impartial? agitated? fearful? WSJ could have mentioned how the Taliban finance themselves with mining of precious stones & such. m-duby /

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