Light on Swat

Swat is a valley and an administrative district in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan located 160 km/100 miles from Islamabad . It is the upper valley of the Swat River , which rises in the Hindu Kush range. The capital of Swat is Saidu Sharif , but the main town in the Swat valley is Mingora . It was a princely state in the NWFP until it was dissolved in 1969. With high mountains, green meadows, and clear lakes, it is a place of great natural beauty that used to be popular with tourists as “the Switzerland of Pakistan”.In December 2008 most of the area was captured by the so called Taliban insurgency and it is now considered dangerous for tourism. The so-called Islamist militant leader Maulana FazlullahMaulana Fazlullah and his group Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi have banned education for girls and have bombed or torched “more than 170 schools … along with other government-owned buildings.However,before then that ,The Pakistani government announced on February 16 , 2009 that it would allow Sharia law in the Malakand region. In return, Fazlullah’s followers agreed to observe a ceasefire negotiated by Sufi Muhammad . +Reactions to Ceasefire NATO feared that the agreement would only serve to allow militants to regroup and to create a safe haven for cross-border attacks into Afghanistan. Amnesty International expressed concern that the agreement would legitimize human rights abuses in the region. The people of Swat have welcomed this peace-agreement as welcome respite from the fighting that had brought their lives to a standstill. However, reports from the area suggest that this agreement has been accepted by them out of fear of continuous fighting that has destroyed the once scenic tourist haven. With the imposition of Nizam-e-Adl , some colleges and schools, including those for women, have reopened. However, women have to conceal themselves from head to toe as per the Islamic law or Shariah. Furthermore, Pakistanis are now scared that this deal may only serve to embolden militants to spread their influence into more settled parts of Pakistan. Despite the reported ceasefire, the Taliban have refused to lay down their arms. Various international political and security analysts are opining that this deal and refusal to lay down arms may have devastating effects on the stability of Pakistan. April-May 2009 Pakistani offensive Through a media broadcast, the Pakistani government announced in late April that it would fight the Taliban in the Swat Valley. This led to a humanitarian crisis. The United Nations Commissioner for Refugees announced that between 150,000 to 200,000 civilians had fled the war zone. The Pakistani military took back multiple Taliban strongholds, such as Rama Kandhao ridge in Matta and a Taliban headquarters in Loenamal. On the 8th of May, the Pakistani military announced that around 80 Taliban fighters had been killed and two Pakistani soldiers had been injured. Air strikes, artillery bombardment and rocket attacks by helicopter gunships are being undertaken extensively. As of 11th May, the military spokesperson of the ISPR report that as many as 200 militants had been killed in the fighting with Pakistan Army troops, also that Pakistan helibourne commandos had been inserted in the area which is the main stronghold of these militants. [39] By early June 2009, most of Swat was freed from Taliban and Mingora, the main town of Swat, was in complete government control. Nevertheless, is very evident that swat is not 100 percent in government’s control as there are many people those who support the So-called Taliban’s Mentality, still present there. The militants were not Muslims nor pure residents of Swat or Pakistan .As I personally talked to some Pak-army soldiers who took part in operations, they said from those militants “who were captured alive and then interrogated ,”accepted” that they were been sent by different agencies like Indian Raw Israeli Mossad . These agencies basically pay money to poor people and especially to the senior tribes personal ,to do the rest of the job. These foreign agencies are the backbone of terrorism in Pakistan and in Swat as well. Just think for a minute, how it is possible for a small military group to fight against one of the largest armed forces in the world. It can only be possible if other big armed forces support these terrorist groups.

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