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EditorialSwat in the hands of Taliban?

Swat in the hands of Taliban?

It seems like the dark days of Swat are back. The scenic valley of Swat was under the stronghold of the Taliban until an operation was carried out by the military of Pakistan. By 2009 the area was cleansed of the barbaric Taliban rule and it took many years for normalcy to prevail in the region. During the Taliban rule, the people of Swat lived under extreme oppression, public hangings were the norm, television was banned and girls could not go to school. Swat became a little Afghanistan until the Pakistani army liberated the region. For years now, the area was a popular tourist spot and it was progressing and relieving itself of the damage done by the militant group. However, now videos have surfaced which show that the militants are back with their Kalashnikovs hanging from their shoulders and morality under their feet. It was reported that around 400 to 500 men had barged into the region.

This news brings with it a sense of gloom as the earlier Taliban regime in the region had destroyed the area, both in the sense of its physical beauty and its social fabric. It is said that the talks between the government and the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) led to this. The government has allowed these militants in the area and the military has cleared the area. It is being reported that the militants are armed and have already begun to terrorize the locals. The police are the main state body that is dealing with these barbarians who have likely come with the agenda of terrorizing and taking over once again. A suicide attack was also carried out on a police convoy and a few people were captured and later released by the Taliban, these included the DSP of that region and a major.

In its negotiation with the TTP in Kabul, the Pakistani government accepted a lot of the militant group’s demands. Many senior leaders of the group were let out of prison after presidential pardons were given to them. This return of the Taliban to the Swat valley also seems to be one of the accepted clauses. The government has been criticized time and again for being lenient with the Taliban and even appeasing the militant group in order to develop better relations with the Taliban in Afghanistan. It must be noted that appeasement has always led to the downfall of the appeaser. The world has witnessed many defeats due to ill-timed appeasement policies. Those who make the decisions may never be directly affected by their decisions, but those in the military and police have laid countless lives to save the people of Pakistan. To allow these people back into the region means that the higher-ups do not feel for those who are being directly affected.

Currently, the emigration of the Taliban is extremely dangerous as they have vengeance on their mind. The attack on senior TTP leader Omar Khalid Khorasani in Kabul, which led to his death brought about a huge blow to the banned militant organization as he was a key negotiator in the talks with the Pakistani government. The deceased was also wanted by the Pakistani government for the attacks on security forces, tribal elders and leaders of the peace committees in the FATA region. The built-up anger of the death of the Taliban leader will be taken out on security forces and locals in the Swat region. If they are able to take over the valley it may return to the state it was in back in 2008. It is only prudent for security forces to not allow this emigration before the disease spreads to other areas as well and takes the peace away.


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