Tense calm prevails in Swat amid search operations

Peshawar     -   Tense calm prevails in Swat and its adjoining districts as the military has been deployed in various areas of the scenic district in the wake of Taliban-related activities recently while a peace rally was also staged in the area on Friday. According to local sources, FC personnel have been deployed in areas of Matta and some other mountainous areas while WhatsApp and 4G internet services have also been blocked in areas of Matta and Kabal for the last more than 10 days. A security official said that a full-fledged operation has not yet been launched in the region. However, the military is keeping an eye on the region and continues movement in the trouble spots of the Swat district. A police official based in Swat, Aman Shalmani, said that the army and police jointly conducted raids in an area whenever the security personnel receive information about the presence of militants in an area. Meanwhile, a resident Shafi Khan told this correspondent that for the last more than a month; stones were being thrown into houses of people in the Matta and Kabal areas. “They throw stones into houses and when people come out, they disappear in the dead of the night,” he added. He further said that because the security personnel have been deployed in the area now, such incidents must come to a halt. On the other hand, a peace rally was staged in the Matta area of Swat on Friday, where Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement leader Manzoor Pashteen, JUI-F leader Maulana Rahimullah, Brig (r) Saleem Khan, and others spoke to the demonstrators. Speakers on the occasion asked the government and state institutions to provide security to citizens and declared that terrorism would no longer be tolerated in Swat. The rally was organised by Swat Olasi Pasoon and Swat Quami Jirga against the militant activities, the closure of the Internet, and the throwing of stones by unidentified persons in the houses at night. PTM chief Manzoor Pashteen, MNA Mohsin Dawar, PkMAP leader Mukhtiar Yousfazai, ANP’s Ayub Asharey, PPP leader Dr Amjad and local elders addressed the rally. The speakers said that the entrance of militants in Swat, despite the presence of a huge number of security personnel was questionable. “The 2022’s Swat is different than the 2007’s Swat as we will no more be deceived by the fake slogans raised by the militants in 2007. This time we will not condemn terrorists’ activities, but we will resist them,” said Dr Amjad, a local leader of the PPP. “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,” said PkMAP spokesperson Mukhtiar Yousafzai, adding that if the law enforcement agencies failed to arrest the miscreants who throw stones into the houses, they would be dealt with iron hands by the residents. The speakers said that Swat was not a neighbouring district with Afghanistan, but it was far from the border, and the appearance of the militants in Swat raised many questions. “Sabotaging peace in Swat means hitting peace of the entire province, which would not be tolerated. If this time the socalled militants tried to sabotage peace in Swat, people from the entire KP will come out to resist them,” said Manzoor Pashteen in his address and said that this time no one would leave Swat or migrate from Swat but would stand against the militants.

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