Imran holds govt, agencies responsible for rising terrorism in Swat

Published October 13, 2022
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses a workers’ convention in Charsadda on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses a workers’ convention in Charsadda on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV

PTI Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan on Thursday appeared to hold the federal government and agencies responsible for rising incidents of terrorism in Swat.

Addressing a workers’ convention in Charsadda, he said that terrorism had started rising since the incumbent government came into power. “Look at what is happening in Swat,” Imran said.

He alleged that instead of fulfilling its responsibility of controlling “terrorists coming from the borders”, the federal government was busy securing acquittals in cases against its members, indulging in corruption and creating political cases against opponents.

“What are the agencies doing? Telephone [calls], threats from unknown members and silencing the media to not show Imran Khan on TV. There is no law remaining in the country. There is terrorism again in Swat despite the sacrifices of its people.

“They (government and the agencies) are responsible for this [rise in terrorism],” the former premier claimed.

Imran called on the people to vote for the PTI in the upcoming by-poll and ensure its victory.

Addressing a rally later in Mardan, Imran again blamed the federal government for the deteriorating law and order situation, saying that it was the Centre’s responsibility to manage the borders and movement there.

“Why did people of Swat come out [to protest]? Because they gave a big sacrifice so now, you are responsible for what is happening.”

Imran addressed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and told him to convey to the federal government if it does not want to take responsibility for the borders and law and order situation, then “let us take it, we will stand against terrorism”.

The PTI chief also accused the federal government of stripping and torturing Senator Azam Swati following his arrest earlier today.

“I’m saying to all institutions that if you think that you can get respected by committing torture, don’t have that misunderstanding.”

Pointing to the recent acquittals of government-affiliated figures in cases against them, Imran said “whoever is giving NRO to these thieves is a traitor to this country.”

On Monday, a school van was targeted in Swat’s Charbagh area, which left the van driver dead and two students injured. The attack was the latest in a series of incidents of violence that have gripped the valley in recent days, prompting citizens to take to the streets against the rising tide of insurgency.

Locals had blamed the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan for the attack, but the group denied responsibility. Any other organisation has also not claimed responsibility so far.

Family members of the van driver ended their 40-hour sit-in on Tuesday after successful negotiations with the administration.

The protestors had been demanding the arrest of the culprits behind the attack and warned of marching to Islamabad if authorities failed to meet their demands within 24 hours.

Before the van attack, there were near-weekly protests by Swat residents demanding terrorists be reined in after a suicide attacker killed a former peace committee member and seven others on September 13.

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