Pakistan's government abandoned its short-lived peace deal with the Taliban over control of the Swat Valley and has sent troops to fight militants in the area. Despite the fighting, the government still plans to enforce sharia law in the valley in order to rob the Taliban of a source of popular support. The government has urged residents to leave the valley as fighting intensifies.
The Taliban has been consolidating its position in Swat over the past few days and many doubt that the military has the stomach for the sustained fight that will be required to dislodge them. As one MP from the area put it, "The army understands the threat from the militants, but they are more permanently worried about India."
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari left for Washington today to discuss the situation in person with U.S. President Barack Obama. The U.S. has accused the Pakistani government of not doing enough to fight the Taliban, jeopardizing the U.S. military operation in neighboring Afghanistan.
U.S. Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar introduced a bill yesterday to triple nonmilitary aid to Pakistan.
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