Wednesday November 30, 2022

Thousands rally in Swat to denounce violence

September 17, 2022

MINGORA: Thousands of people on Friday staged a rally to condemn increasing terror acts and demanded the authorities to restore peace in Swat valley.

A large number of people, including civil society members, leaders and activists of various political parties, gathered at the Kabal Chowk after Friday prayers.

The protesters were carrying white flags and placards with the slogan “We want peace in Swat” written on them.

Addressing the protesters, Khurshid Kakaji of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, Rahmat Ali Khan of Awami National Party, Mufti Abdul Rahim of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, Sardar Yusufzai of Kabal Bar Association, Usman Ghani of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and others raised questions about the silence of the provincial government.

They demanded effective measures to control lawlessness in the scenic valley.

They made it clear that the people of Swat would be forced to stage a sit-in for an indefinite period if the government failed to maintain law and order.

They said the people of Swat were protesting for the restoration of peace, adding they would not tolerate any unrest in the district.

They demanded that peace was their right and the responsibility of the state to restore it, urging the government to take immediate steps to establish lasting peace.

Swat and Dir have witnessed acts of violence in recent weeks. A Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Malik Liaqat Khan was injured in an attack that also left four people dead in Lower Dir in August.

This and some other incidents had prompted the people in Swat and Dir to stage protests against the presence of the militants in the mountainous areas in Swat. They had demanded the government to restore peace and take steps to prevent the spread of violence.

On Thursday, a former member of the peace committee was shot dead by suspected militants in Charbagh tehsil in Swat.

Eight persons, including two cops and a former peace body member, were martyred in an explosion in Kabal on September 13.