ISLAMABAD / SWAT: Even as locals saw security personnel advancing towards the mountains to take action against “armed men” recently spotted there, the military on Saturday night rejected as baseless the reports about TTP running amok in Swat.

However, lending credence to reports circulating in the mainstream media for the past few days, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement that presence of “small number of armed men on few mountain-tops between Swat and Dir has been observed”, located far away from population.

“Apparently, these individuals sneaked in from Afghanistan to resettle in their native areas. A close watch is being maintained on their limited presence and movement in mountains,” it said.

The ISPR further said that during the past few days, a “misperception about alleged presence of large number of proscribed organisation TTP’s armed members in Swat Valley has been created on social media. After confirmation on ground, these reports have been found as grossly exaggerated and misleading”.

Read: Protest rallies held across Swat against recent 'wave of militancy'

According to the ISPR statement, “required measures are in place by all LEAs for the safety and security of people of adjoining areas. Presence of militants anywhere will not be tolerated and they will be dealt with full use of force if required”.

According to residents of different parts of Matta tehsil, they saw a large number of security personnel advancing towards the mountains of Shawar, Balasoor, Kanala and other areas after the recent shooting allegedly by the militants that left DSP Pir Syed wounded. Some residents claimed they also saw gunship helicopters patrolling the upper gorges of Matta tehsil.

Meanwhile, the Swat Qaumi Jirga has convened a Loya Jirga of all walks of life from Swat on August 17 to address recent developments in the area.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2022

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