SWAT: Streets of Matta tehsil here on Friday echoed with the slogans ‘We want peace’ as hundreds of people from different parts of Swat protested the recent wave of militancy in the region.
A considerable number of elders, youth, and political activists gathered at Matta Chowk, near the house of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, demanding peace from the state.
The rally was organised by Swat Olasi Pasoon and Swat Quami Jirga against terrorist activities, the closure of the internet, and the throwing of stones by unidentified persons in the houses at night. PTM head Manzoor Pashteen, MNA Mohsin Dawar, PkMAP leader Mukhtiar Yousfazai, ANP’s Ayoub 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 Swat is different than the 2007 Swat as we will no more be deceived by the fake slogans raised by the militants in 2007. This time we will not condemn terrorist activities, but we will resist them,” said PPP leader Dr Amjad.
Stage protest rally near CM’s house
The speakers complained that unidentified people had thrown stones at their houses in Matta tehsil’s villages during nighttime for 20 days.
“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 spokesman for PkMAP Mukhtiar Yousafzai.
He added that if the law-enforcement agencies failed to arrest culprits, the residents would handle those miscreants themselves.
The speakers said Swat stood 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 so-called 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. He said Pakhtuns won’t allow vested interests to make them a scapegoat for own interests.
“We do not accept any negotiation with militants and will resist their re-entry to the Pakhun region,” he said.
The speakers said it was a good omen that people of all walks of life came out to the streets demanding peace from the state.
“Previously, people were not aware of the fact behind the militants, but this time the situation is different as everyone, elders, youth and children are aware, which is why they are on the streets for peaceful Swat,” said MNA Mohsin Dawar.
The protesters demanded that it was the state’s responsibility to ensure peace immediately, arrest the miscreants who throw stones at the houses at night, and restore internet in Matta tehsil; otherwise, people of Swat would collectively come out and block all the roads.
Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2022