Research by the BBC Urdu’s service into the growing strength of Taliban militants in north western Pakistan shows that only 38% of the area remains under full government control.
It was based on local research and correspondent reports as well as conversations with officials. It shows the Taliban strengthening their hold across the north-west.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari rejected the findings, telling the BBC it was an “incorrect survey”. The report the BBC map was based on covered the 24 districts of NWFP and the seven tribal agencies and six frontier regions of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The Pakistani army’s spokesman, Gen Athar Abbas, rejected the BBC map as “grossly exaggerated“. “The ground situation doesn’t give any indicator of such influence or control of Taliban in this area,” he told the BBC in Rawalpindi.
Apart from the debate that this is a valid research or not, if we assume it to be so than it is a highly alarming situation. The number of Taliban controlled areas is less but their presence is indicated almost throughout the North West part of Pakistan. They are present in 14 districts of NWFP and have control on 8 districts. Out of 24 districts of NWFP Taliban are hiding in 22 districts either in full control or partial. This statistics means that Pakistan Army had to vacate almost all of the population of NWFP to fight or demolish Taliban. It is feared that this will increase the time period for refugees to be homeless. Probably the rehabilitation of the IDPs would take years now. It will be a hard nut to crack. Only with unity we can combat the situation and INSHALLAH soon arise from this crisis.