Two months into a military offensive against Taliban militants, public opinion is firmly behind the civilian government and the military and it shows no sign of wavering.
Investors in Pakistani stocks have been unnerved by the violence, which has included a string of suicide bombs in cities and attacks on the military across the north. But investors and the Pakistani people in general wanted to see the offensive prosecuted to the end, and only then would their confidence be restored, said a stock broker.
‘It is absolutely necessary for the government to control and counter these terrorist elements and regain its writ to end the state of despondency among the people who had started to feel there was no one to protect them,’ said Asif Qureshi, director of Invisor Securities.
‘Let alone foreign investors, the success of this operation is essential for the restoration of confidence among local investors as well,’ he said…
Rashid Rehman said…‘It may be partly American pressure but it is certainly also an internal assessment that ‘yes, we’ve lost control of these guys and they’ve gone haywire, something has to be done’…
‘Everybody wants this filth wiped out,’ said retired school principal Nighat Anis. ‘The operation must be carried on so that no one like Osama (bin Laden) could dare come here.’
Some of the religious parties continue their political battle on the streets – trying to dissuade a continued excision of the Taliban. They have become closer to laughable than effective. I think they are not only tailing behind changes in public opinions, they may just be painting themselves into a corner.