This editorial appeared in The Kansas City Star.
Pakistani officials say their strategy against the Taliban is to make deals with some factions, allowing the military to concentrate on other factions.
If that's the plan, it's too clever by half – and in the picturesque Swat Valley it's backfiring in an ominous way. Thousands of militants have been streaming into the region since a peace agreement with the government. New training camps reportedly are popping up on the valley slopes.
In Punjab, Pakistan's most populous province, militants allied with the Taliban are making inroads in towns and villages.
This heightened activity suggests the struggle against the militants is taking a turn for the worst. Another bad sign came this week, when President Asif Ali Zardari formally approved the imposition of Islamic law in Swat. His move ratified the government's de facto capitulation to militants in February.
This was supposed to bring peace to the region, where a force of 3,000 militant fighters had repelled Pakistani army units numbering up to 12,000.
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