Wednesday December 07, 2022

Swatis take to streets to demand peace

September 19, 2022

MINGORA: A large number of people here on Sunday took to the streets against resurgence of terrorist activities and demanded restoration peace in Swat.

Organised by Swat Qaumi Jirga, the protesters, comprising elders, lawyers, transporters, traders, doctors and students, gathered at the Nishat Chowk.

They were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the terrorists and in support of peace.

Besides civil society and peace activists, all the leaders belonging to various political parties, except PTI, addressed the gathering.

Ahmad Shah, Brigadier(retd) Saleem Khan, Abdul Jabbar Khan, Sher Shah Khan, Akhtar Ali, Ayub Asharey, Dr Kahlid Mahmood, Idrees Bacha, Sardar Yousafzai, Wakeel Khan, Mukhtiar Khan Yousafzai, Umar Ali Yousafzai and others addressed the protesters.

The speakers said that they had only a one-point agenda as they demanded a peaceful Swat. They said that they were not ready to witness another chaos in their area.

“We demand peace from the state. And if it failed to ensure peace, we, the people of Swat, will rise and take action for peace in our land,” said one of the speakers, adding that they would never allow terrorists or extremists to stage a comeback in Swat.

The protesters said that they had witnessed the ugly time of terrorism from 2007 to 2009 when the militants challenged the writ of the government and spread fear through bloodshed.

“We had lost the lives of our dear and near ones during the militancy. We had also suffered losses as we were evicted from our homeland and were displaced to other parts of the country,” said another speaker.

“But this time we will not be deceived by any power. And will stand up to the elements who want to sabotage our peace,” he added.

The speakers asked the people of Swat to come out of their houses if they spotted any suspected elements in their area and take action against them. “We will not burry those killed in terror acts or bomb blasts. We will place the bodies on the roads and stage protest,” said yet another speaker.

The speakers also demand of the law enforcement agencies to refrain from registering first information reports against peaceful protesters, adding if they did so again, the people would block every road in protest against the state.

They said that it was the state duty to ensure protection to all the citizens equally. The protesters also questioned the silence of the Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and the elected representatives and demanded that the government must take action against the terrorists immediately and eliminate them from Swat.