SWAT: Residents took out a rally here on Tuesday to protest the brutal killing of 14 people belonging to Khwazakhela tehsil in Karachi on Aug 14.

The incident took place when unidentified persons attacked a mini truck with a grenade. The truck was carrying about 20 members of a family, who were going to participate in a wedding ceremony.

The deceased included women and children. Several others were injured in the attack.

The protesters marched through the Khwazakhela Bazaar, chanting slogans and demanding of the Sindh police to immediately arrest the culprits.

“It is unfortunate that the Sindh police have yet to arrest the culprits despite they have the CCTV footage of the attack,” lamented a protester. He said the victims’ family had long been living in Karachi.

“Attacking women and children is a shameful and detestable act,” another protester deplored.

In a separate development, Malakand division commissioner Syed Zaheerul Islam on Tuesday said environment-friendly and workable plans should be made while formulating strategy for restoration of natural beauty of Swat River.

He stated this while chairing a meeting on restoration of the Swat River to its past glory here.

The meeting was also attended by officials of relevant departments.

Irrigation department’s chief engineer Nasir Ghafoor briefed the meeting about the various proposals under consideration for beautification of the river. He said in a first, all encroachments along the river had been removed.

O the occasion, Mr Islam said regional characteristics of Swat district, the needs of local population and environmental diversity should be taken into consideration while executing the project.

He said as vast tracts of land had been cleared of encroachments trees should be planted along the riverbanks to make it look greener. “It will also provide a better environment for aquatic life to thrive and boost tourism in the district.”

The commissioner said boundaries of the river should be well-defined and constructions along the riverbanks should be strictly prohibited. He added an awareness campaign in that regard should also be launched. He said strict implementation of the River Protection Act should be ensured.

Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2021

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