The Nation in its editorial stated that the missile-strike crusade by the US-led coalition forces from across the border into Pakistan's Tribal Areas shows no sign of slowing down, much less halting. At least 20 people were killed and many others wounded when a US plane flying over Pakistani territory fired several missiles on a residential compound in Wana in South Waziristan. Of late, these missile strikes have become something of a routine. Despite the claim by the US about devising a new mechanism in intelligence sharing, the attacks are carried out without informing the Pakistani security agencies, thus giving credibility to the speculation that the current war in Afghanistan is veering off its proper course and is entering Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the Taliban have issued a statement that they are willing to talk to the government for a possible solution of the ongoing conflict. This stance should be welcomed. The fact that the militants have come up with the option of finding a resolution of the problem through talks, indicates that they are not exclusively engaged in a mindless campaign of killing people here and there: there is a certain agenda they carry and want it to be implemented. Baitullah Mehsud's call to end the operation in the region should be seen in the same vein. Moreover, these attacks place a big question mark on the way the War on Terror is being fought. No sinister terminology like collateral damage can provide justification for these attacks in which innocent people die. The missile strike on Wednesday, which killed two women and two children, besides scores of other recent attacks, are a case in point. Such methods are not only posing problems for the coalition forces in Afghanistan but are also propelling the domestic security situation out of control for Pakistan, which is already facing the fallout of extremism. And while the American planes easily fire missiles while flying at high altitudes, the militants mainly resort to attacking Pakistan in return.
On the other side of the spectrum, the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan are making things difficult for the new political dispensation as well, which already has too many circles to square. Such attacks would in no way support its performance, far from it. However, the new dispensation is expected to give some consideration to the proposal floated by the Taliban and find a negotiated settlement of the problem, besides making it known to the coalition forces in Afghanistan that such attacks only prove counterproductive to bring peace and therefore must be immediately stopped.