Matta residents stage another anti-terror rally

Published October 19, 2022
Residents protest in Matta Bazaar, Swat, on Tuesday. — Dawn
Residents protest in Matta Bazaar, Swat, on Tuesday. — Dawn

SWAT: Scores of residents on Tuesday took to the streets in Matta tehsil here against the recent acts of terrorism.

PTI Matta tehsil chairman Abdullah Khan, who is the brother of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, led the rally organised by the party’s local chapter.

The participants, including the PTI activists, schoolchildren, transporters, lawyers, and traders, held white flags and banners inscribed with slogans of peace.

The speakers, including Mr Abdullah, trader leader Mohammad Zubair and Shamizai Transport Association leader Asrar Khan, said Swat’s development wasn’t possible until there was peace.

They said the residents would render all possible sacrifices to protect the hard-earned peace.

Vow to protect ‘hard-earned’ peace

The speakers called for the empowerment of police to establish peace and said the people stood with police officials and would support them in ‘difficult times’.

They wondered how terrorists could enter Swat from Afghanistan as the district was far off from the border.

The speakers said the people would offer strong resistance to the resurgence of terrorist groups in Swat.

They condemn the recent killings in the region and demanded the early arrest of the culprits for punishment.

Mr Abdullah said if terror incidents occurred anywhere in the district, all Swat residents would raise voice against it.

He said the residents supported all those staging street protests against terrorism and for peace.

PROTEST: Residents of Saidu Sharif and Salampur areas on Tuesday warned they would protest against the Swat district administration and forest department over their failure to check the widespread tree cutting in the Salampur mountains.

Social activist Amjad Ali alleged that the trees were chopped down in Tor Kamar and Goddar forests and transported to other parts of Swat under the supervision of forest guards.

When contacted, DFO Shah Hussain insisted that only ‘one coil tree’ was chopped down by ‘timber mafia’ and an FIR was lodged against it.

He also said all logs were seized.

The DFO said besides the police case, a case under the forest law was also registered against culprits.

The civil society members complained that the FIR was registered against members of the ‘timber mafia’ only as the names of the culpable forest officials were missing from it.

They demanded legal action against those officials and warned if the demand wasn’t met, they would take to the streets against the forest department.

Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2022

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