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That the Taliban failed in its main objective – to hijack an aircraft and hold its passengers hostage at Pakistan’s busiest airport on Sunday night – should bring no comfort to embattled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, since the attack signals an alarming shift in tactics by an increasingly formidable foe. The strike at the airport in Karachi, home to 18 million people, deals a blow to Sharif’s bid to attract foreign investors to revive the economy. It has also destroyed prospects for peace talks with the Taliban and made an all-out military offensive against militant strongholds along the Afghan border a near-certainty.



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