Pakistan Security Brief
Clashes between militants and Pakistani security forces in Swat and Dir continued Thursday, reportedly killing nearly two dozen militants; despite NATO assurances to the contrary, Pakistani officials have voiced concerns about spillover effects from the U.S. offensive in Afghanistan; an estimated 350,000 displaced people, out of nearly two million, have reportedly returned to their homes in the Swat valley.
- Twenty-one militants and one soldier were killed Thursday, security forces reported, in the latest round of fighting in Swat and Dir. Also in Swat, six more suspected militants have been arrested—indicating that the area is not yet close to being fully cleared of Taliban-affiliated militants, despite previous reports to the contrary.
- Pakistani officials are reportedly afraid that the US’ continuing offensive in Afghanistan is going to have a serious spillover effect into Pakistan’s already chaotic FATA—and compel the army to divert troops from the border with India to combat the increase in Taliban forces—despite assurances from NATO’s commanding official in Afghanistan that so far no such effect has been observed.
- Transportation of displaced Swat residents resumed Friday after a temporary halt the day before attributed to “logistical problems.” An estimated 350,000 people in total have now been returned to the area, but more than 1.5 million remain in temporary camps.