‘We want peace’: Residents take to streets in Swat against wave of militancy

We want peace

Recent Upsurge in Militancy

On Friday, hundreds of people from various sections of Swat flocked to the streets to protest the recent upsurge in militancy in the valley. The streets of Matta tehsil reverberated with the shouts “we want peace.” 

Eight persons were killed earlier this month when a remote-controlled bomb struck their vehicle in the Ghlo Kandaw neighbourhood of Kabal tehsil in Swat valley. Among those killed were a former Aman Committee head and two police officers. 

Residents of Swat and Shangla protested a number of times in response to the tragedy. Security stations were established last week in Swat’s Matta and Kabal tehsils. 

Political Activists Gathered

At Matta Chowk, close to the residence of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister, a sizable group of seniors, young people, and political activists gathered today to call for peace from the government. 

The protest was organised by Swat Olasi Pasoon and Swat Quami Jirga in opposition to terrorism, the shutdown of the internet, and the nighttime stone-throwing at homes by unknown individuals. 

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Speeches from Local Elders

The gathering featured speeches from local elders, PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen, MNA Mohsin Dawar, PkMAP leader Mukhtiar Yousafzai, ANP’s Ayoub Asharey, and PPP leader Dr. Amjad. 

The return of terrorists to Swat despite the presence of a sizable security force, according to the speakers, caused concerns. 

“The Swat of 2022 is different from the Swat of 2007, because this time we won’t be duped by the bogus slogans that the militants shouted in 2007. This time, we won’t only denounce the actions of terrorists; instead, we’ll fight back,” declared Dr. Amjad, the PPP’s local leader. 

Several Matta Tehsil Villages

The speakers noted that it was unacceptable that for the past 20 days, unknown individuals had thrown stones at their homes at night in several Matta tehsil villages. 

PkMAP spokesperson Mukhtiar Yousafzai said, “Ironically, despite the presence of law enforcement agencies in their villages, miscreants manage to enter our villages, throw stones at our houses at midnight, and then easily go back.”

She added that if the law enforcement agencies failed to apprehend the miscreants, locals would deal with them “with iron hands.” 

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