Pakistan Army Said to Be Linked to Swat Killings (New York Times)
"Pakistan’s military operations against the Taliban in Swat, begun in May under public pressure from the United States, has been hailed by Washington as a showcase effort of the army’s newfound resolve to defeat the militants. [...]
"Now, concerns over the army’s methods in the area threaten to further taint Washington’s association with the military, cooperation that has been questioned in Congress and has been politically unpopular in Pakistan.
"The number of killings suggests that the military is seeking to silence any enthusiasm for the Taliban and to settle accounts for heavy army casualties, said a senior provincial official who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprimand by the army.
"A sullen, uncertain atmosphere prevails in Mingora, where people interviewed last week in shops, homes and government institutions nervously complained of the arbitrary and unpredictable army rule.
"Bodies, some with torture marks and some with limbs tied and a bullet in the neck or head, have been found on the roads of Mingora and in rural areas that were militant strongholds.
"Reports on Sept. 1 in two national daily newspapers, Dawn and The News, said the bodies of 251 people had been found dumped in Swat.
"A well-to-do landlord, Sher Shah Khan, who had criticized what he termed the army’s early reluctance to confront the militants, said he was not worried about the reports. 'If the security services kill in the same manner as the Taliban killed, people have no problem.'"
See also anti-caste: WHAT IS THE CLASS NATURE OF THE CONFLICT IN SWAT? (REVISITED) (July 28, 2009)