Islamabad: It is an "alarming thought" that the Taliban is still able to stage terrorist strikes across the country despite the war against terror, an editorial in a Pakistani daily said after the group claimed responsibility for attacks on two NATO oil tankers.
The editorial in the News International said: "Ominously...a Taliban spokesman has warned that more will follow as revenge for drone strikes in the north. Anger has obviously been heightened by recent bombings by manned NATO aircraft."
It pointed out that there seemed to be a confusion over exactly who is responsible for keeping the NATO vehicles safe. "The Islamabad police have said they are not responsible."
The lives of the drivers are particularly at risk.
"In Karachi, drivers of NATO vehicles say they are forced to proceed along the long route to the north unprotected and uninsured. The danger of accelerated attacks following the Taliban warning makes it all the more imperative that these drivers be given cover in view of the hazardous nature of their task."
The editorial stressed that "a strategy is urgently needed to cope with the situation. The attacks not only endanger lives, but raise very serious concerns about the security situation. It seems evident that we are unable to guard our highways. The continued drone attacks of course add to the dangers.”
"The central issue of our territorial sovereignty and our ability to defend it has become a matter of growing concern," the daily said.
It went on to say that "even now, the Taliban remain a force able to stage terrorist strikes across the country. This is a highly alarming thought, given the sacrifices made in the battle to end militancy".
The Pakistan Army has been waging a relentless war against terror and they have battled heavily armed Taliban guerrillas in the mountains of North Waziristan.