Protests in Swat

The situation in Swat is slowly becoming untenable. There has been increasing incidents of terrorism in the area; just last week we saw three bomb blasts occur in Swat as well as different places in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The rising threat of terrorism and political instability, coupled with the devastation caused by the floods, have naturally led to great concern by the residents. The alarm that has spread because of the volatility can be seen by the sheer numbers that turned up to protest on Friday-thousands of members of political parties, civil society, clerics and local residents staged a protest demonstration in Swat against the increasing lawlessness, return of armed bands to the mountains and deadly attacks at former peace committee members. There was not just one big demonstration- several large rallies were held in different parts of the city after Friday prayers that reached the open space of Kabal Chowk.
The aftermath of the blast, and the greater wave of terror and militancy that only seems to be increasing in the region. Lawlessness has also slipped into other realms as kidnapping for ransom has also become common. Members of the civil society are speaking out and demanding operations against militancy once again especially because they pay the price for being in the middle of the state’s tussle with the banned outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
It appears from the government’s conduct that it takes the TTP seriously at its will- and for some time, our policy towards them has been in limbo- lingering between pondering over peace talks or taking action. Meanwhile, the TTP has not been subsided from attacks. Solutions are needed whether it is in the form of militant action or negotiations. Time, effort and resources must be directed towards establishing a system which brings back stability in the region.

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