To illustrate, here is a report from Channel 4 (by the way, what's up with this Taliban dude's focus on "white women"?? A bit of a non sequitur, don't you think?)
It should be very clear: these guys are nasty and their sights are set on Pakistan. I don't think their voluntary withdrawal from Buner means anything. It just shows that they can take a town in northern Pakistan pretty much without resistance. They are methodically moving in - and we will soon start seeing the destabilization of the rural areas of Punjab (see a related earlier post: The situation in northern Pakistan).
Also see this:
Disarray on Pakistan Taliban threat (from BBC)
and also at a Congressional hearing, Hillary Clinton brought up the fact that the US earlier abandoned Pakistan, and that's what created many of the current problems.
Update: 4/26: Here is an excellent oped by Mohammed Hanif - that more or less explains the attitudes of moderate Pakistanis: Pakistan bows to the Taliban's rise. Here is how he ends his article:
In Swat, I heard the same story again and again: Before the peace deal, soldiers would stop people at checkpoints and say, "Don't go that way, the Taliban are slitting someone's throat." But they wouldn't intercede to stop the throat-slitting.
The problem, as many see it, is that there's no alternative. Yes, the Taliban routinely place near the bottom of opinion polls, and in elections they garner less than 10 percent of the vote. But we seem to be an exhausted society, incapable of rising to this challenge.
When we look overseas for support, we are confronted by the Americans demanding that we oppose the Taliban even as U.S. drones continue to kill impoverished civilians in the remote-controlled hunt for Taliban officials and the latest al-Qaeda No. 3. There is not a single Pakistani who supports these attacks or the way they are being conducted. They have made being pro-American radioactive. And they have also made opposing the Taliban that much more difficult.
What are people to do?
I got a glimpse of what they are already doing in Lahore. At a hotel that is so safe, I was told, that Americans often use it, I saw security guards posted at multiple entrances. You see private security guards everywhere in Pakistan, but one I spoke with had his pistol drawn. When I asked him why, he shrugged and said that those were his orders. But how he will guard against a truckload of explosives, a band of men armed with rocket launchers or an ideology that wants us to dress and behave like people in Mecca circa A.D. 570 remains unclear.