The attack by pro-Taliban militants on a paramilitary fort in north-west Pakistan demonstrates the difficulties faced by the army. The nation relies upon the military to protect and serve the people, so it is surprising this dastardly attack took place. It is presumed the army has sufficient resources and knowledge to be able to carry out its mission which, combined with its experience and intelligence on such matters, should be more than enough to deter such attacks.

As always when these skirmishes occur, the Pakistan government claim seven soldiers were killed and 15 men went missing, while the Taliban say 16 troops and a further 12 were captured during the fighting. Whichever figure is correct – and probably it lies somewhere between the two – it should never have happened at all. The Taliban are a rag-tag grouping of militants; the Pakistan army comprises professionals in which Pakistanis should have complete confidence.