A spick-and-spanny narrative has the Pakistanis turning against the Taliban. But what else can we have them say?
The last few months were really hairy in Swat and various other locales, and it was looking touch and go for our prospects in (the now officially obsolete usage -- per Bruce Riedel) Af-Pak
Per digression -- supposedly Baitullah Mehsud is in the crosshairs himself right now. Happy hunting.
A tribal leader who opposed the head of the Taliban in Pakistan has been shot dead in the north-western Pakistani town of Dera Ismail Khan, police said.
Qari Zainuddin, 26, who often criticised Taliban head Baitullah Mehsud, was killed by a gunman in his office early on Tuesday.
Earlier this month, Zainuddin criticised Mehsud after an attack on a mosque which killed 33 people.
He told Associated Press: "Whatever Baitullah Mehsud and his associates are doing in the name of Islam is not a jihad, and in fact it is rioting and terrorism".
"Islam stands for peace, not for terrorism," he had said.
Zainuddin's killing is being seen in Pakistan as a setback for the government in its efforts to isolate Mehsud as the security forces prepare for the next phase of their anti-Taliban offensive in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, says the BBC's Mike Wooldridge in Islamabad.
Earlier this month a prominent Muslim cleric who was outspoken in his opposition to the Taliban was killed in a suicide blast at his seminary in Lahore.
-BBC News Online