NEW DELHI: Pakistani militants have bounced back with two weeks of terror, culminating yesterday in a blast in Peshawar that killed at least 11.MORE AFGHANISTAN STORIESA fortnight ago it seemed the insurgents were under pressure.The Pakistani Army had recently flushed Taliban fighters out of the Swat valley and questions were being raised about the authority of the Taliban’s new leader in Pakistan, Hakimullah Mehsud, who took over after the death of the ruthless commander Baitullah Mehsud in a US drone missile strike in early August.The army is now preparing a ground offensive on the Taliban’s heartland in South Waziristan. But multiple militant attacks since early last week have put the pressure back on the Government and its security apparatus.More than 150 Pakistanis have died in the attacks of the past fortnight, which have left the country on edge.The bloody wave of terror demonstrates the capacity of the militant groups to strike at will across the country. It has also called into question the capacity of security apparatus to combat the terrorist threat.Speaking in Lahore after the city endured a deadly three-pronged terrorism strike, the Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, admitted Pakistan was ”not prepared for these kinds of attacks”.”The kind of terrorism we are facing – our forces neither had capacity nor training to counter this,” he said.The attacks have also shown the militants are capable of deploying a variety of tactics.They are adept at complex commando-style assaults as well as suicide bombs using cars and individuals. Many of the armed fighters who have staged raids over the past week have also been wearing suicide jackets.Soft targets such as city market places have been hit with devastating effect. But the recent operations have also targeted high-security installations.These ambitious operations have included a UN compound in a high security area of the national capital, the fortress-like headquarters of the Pakistani Army, and police facilities in Lahore. An increasing number of attacks have involved hostage taking, ensuring a drawn-out stand-off.The insurgency has also proven its ability to launch sophisticated attacks simultaneously, pointing to a high level of training and motivation.On Thursday there were five separate terrorist attacks on a range of targets in different parts of the country.The range of locations is a cause for concern. Many of the most important cities, including Islamabad, Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Lahore, have been attacked over the past two weeks.Lahore, the cosmopolitan cultural and political hub, was for years spared a big terrorist attack. Now it is a prime target. This year it has been subject to a spate of prominent attacks, including the ambush of the Sri Lankan cricket team in March.Lahore’s terrorist nightmare worsened on Thursday with simultaneous attacks on a Federal Investigation Agency office and two police training centres. Gun battles raged for several hours on the streets as security forces struggled to regain control.Police said the city was calm yesterday, but its people have been left wondering where and when the militants might strike again.A network of terrorist groups led by the Pakistan Taliban is behind the latest wave of terror, which has broken as the military prepares an assault on South Waziristan.But the attacks suggest that military campaigns like the recent operation against the Taliban in the Swat Valley cannot stop the militants from staging terrorist attacks.News Review – Page 5
Nanjing Night Net

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