Hundreds rally for peace in Swat, Shangla

Pictured: Protest in Swat

Swat valley on Friday witnessed hundreds of people pouring out on streets against the recent wave of militancy in the area, calling for police action as they warned of more protests if the spate of terrorism continued.

This comes days after eight people, including a former Aman Committee head and two policemen, were killed when a bomb struck their vehicle in the Ghlo Kandaw area of Kabal Tehsil in Swat valley.

Former peace committee head Idrees Khan, two police guards Ramail and Tauheed, and a child were on their way from Kotakay to Bandai village when the bomb went off, leaving four people dead on the spot.

Two pedestrians were also killed in the blast. Two more corpses were found later.
The attack was claimed by the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) which stated that Idrees had been on their hit-list for 13 years.

The residents have been holding protest rallies for some time against the growing wave of terror. Expressing serious concerns against the growing militancy in the area, the demonstrators converged at Kabal Chowk after Friday prayers.

A large number of civil society members, lawyers, local political leaders took part in the protest. Rehmat Ali Khan, an Awami National Party (ANP) leader in Swat, said the citizens had been witnessing a spate of terror of late which had never been the case with Swat in recent times. He said the valley was guarded by law enforcement agencies including police, levies, FC, and army, however, the occurrence of terror activities raised questions on the performance of LEAs.

One of the protesters said it was odd that hundreds of people had taken to the streets against terror in an era when other nations were advancing in science, robotics, artificial intelligence and e-commerce.

He said it was disappointing for the residents to converge on the streets to demand their basic rights.