A Christian Science perspective.
News reports from the Swat Valley suggest a country balanced on a knife edge. Troops are fighting the Taliban in that area, and it's believed that up to 500,000 refugees could flee Swat as a result ("Pakistanis flee Swat Valley as military strikes Taliban," The Christian Science Monitor, May 7). Although it's possible that the refugees will help government forces defeat the Taliban, there are more uncertainties than certainties on the ground.
It can seem impossible to discover what the best way forward should be – and many lives hang in the balance. Given that Pakistan is a nuclear power, the achievement of stability and peace seems especially important.
Many nations have been asked to help, and in April, the US, Britain, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and some others pledged $5.3 billion in budget support ("A real offensive, or a phoney war?" Economist.com, April 30). Many billions above that amount have already been spent in previous years, however, and the results don't seem commensurate with the cost.