Bahrain residents protest recent terror wave in Swat

Published October 22, 2022
A large number of people stage a peace rally in Madyan valley, Swat, on Friday.  — Dawn
A large number of people stage a peace rally in Madyan valley, Swat, on Friday. — Dawn

SWAT: Residents of Bahrain tehsil gathered in Madyan Bazaar here on Friday in large numbers shouting slogans against terrorist activities and for peace in the region.

The Swat Qaumi Jirga and Swat Olasi Pasoon held the event against the recent wave of terrorism in Swat.

It was the ninth protest by the people of Swat since the start of terrorist attacks in Swat in August this year. Besides civil society, the ruling PTI and opposition JUI-F also staged rallies.

The speakers told Madyan Bazaar protesters that they were surprised after hearing from government spokesman Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif that he had fought along with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

They insisted that Saif’s disclosure suggested that he was a militant.

Noted among speakers were Dr Amjad Ali, Zubair Torwali, Malak Ibrar Torwali, Mazhar Azad, Ayoub Asharey, Sher Shah Khan, Syed Jaffar Shah, Sher Bahadar Khan, Shahid Ali Khan, Mukhtiyar Yousafzai and Dr Khalid Mehmood.

The Swat Quami Jirga leaders warned if Saif tried to visit Swat, the residents would stage street protests as they considered him to be the friend of killers and those challenging the writ of the government.

They criticised the police for not registering an FIR against the killers of a man and his son on the Bypass Road in a ‘fake encounter’.

The speakers said if the local Taliban tried to return to Swat, the people would take up arms against them instead of waiting for security agencies to come and eliminate them.

They said Swatis wanted their land to be peaceful.

The speakers also demanded equal rights for the people of Malakand division like other citizens of the country.

They said the Swat youth had the right to formal education, security and development.

The speakers rejected the idea of a military operation in Swat and said the local police should be tasked with maintaining law and order control in the region as they enjoyed the residents’ ‘complete trust’.

They said it was ironic that the citizens were seeking protection of their life from the state.

Young women also took part in the demonstration like previous ones staged by civil society activists in the district.

They held placards inscribed with slogans for peace and shouted slogans.

Resham, a resident of Madyan area, said that the women of Swat had taken to the streets to demand peace for themselves and other residents.

“Protecting public life and property is the duty of the state,” she said.

Another young protester, Kiran Naz, said terrorism had badly hit women.

“We [Swat’s women] are here to send out a clear message that we won’t tolerate terrorism on their land,” she said.

Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2022

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