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Swat and the Mullah Military Alliance: Two pictures and a column – Abbas Ather

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Army will restore writ in Swat: COAS

* Commanders brief COAS on security situation in valley
* Kayani meets Pashtun leader Afzal Lala, lauds his stance against the Taliban

Staff Report

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Army has the ‘will and resolve’ to defeat terrorists, restore peace and establish the writ of the state in violence-hit areas, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Kayani told troops during his visit to Swat on Wednesday.

The visit comes a day after the third phase of Operation Rah-e-Haq against the Fazlullah-led Taliban began on Tuesday.

Gen Kayani also lauded the morale of troops. A statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations directorate said the COAS “took stock of the situation” in Swat during the visit.

Military commanders briefed him on the security situation in Swat and Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Masood Aslam briefed him on operational plans, it said.

Gen Kayani gave fresh directions for the operation. The COAS also met notables of Swat and the civil administration.

A private TV channel said he also met Pashtun leader Afzal Lala and lauded his stance against the Taliban. Lala said political leaders would not be able to stay in Swat if they were not protected. He called for more government and media attention to Swat.

Eight bullet-ridden bodies found in Swat

PESHAWAR: Bullet-ridden bodies of eight civilians were found dumped in Swat on Wednesday, officials and residents said. The bodies were found at two separate locations in Mingora. “Five bodies were recovered from one place and three from another,” a security said. It was not clear whether the civilians were killed during the military offensive or executed by the Taliban. Authorities have intensified efforts to win back control of the valley from the Taliban, with several towns under curfew and orders to shoot violators on sight. afp (Daily Times)

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