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Talk of Taliban taking over ’frightening’: Report

world Updated: May 03, 2009 21:18 IST

Battle lines have been drawn between the Pakistani army and the Islamist rebels as talk of the Taliban taking over the trouble-torn country now seems to be “really frightening”, a media report said on Sunday.

In a detailed despatch from Rustam in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province, the ‘Sunday Times´ observed that the roads were filled with refugees, fleeing from the marauding Talibans.

According to the report, in Islamabad, middle-class Pakistanis have “been waking up to the possibility that wild gunmen from the hills could soon be as much a part of daily life as the suicide bombers everyone fears.”

“Nobody really expects the Taliban to march into Islamabad any time soon. But since they invaded Buner, the possibility appears real,” the report said.

It said “talk of the Taliban taking over Pakistan once seemed fantastical. Now it is genuinely frightening.” The report said it was only after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton castigated the “weak government” of President Asif Ali Zardari the action against militants was taken.

Many Pakistanis have drawn the conclusion that the army’s soldiers, bearded and deeply religious, sympathise with their enemy.