What is happening in Swat? A local Swati explains the whole story

By Afzal Khan:
December 30th, 2008

I belong to Swat and have closely observed the present militant uprising in Swat two years back. The solution to present situation in Swat is very simple.

It just needs sincerity from the government side. If the government is sincere in bringing peace, they can bring it in a couple of days. But we don’t know, why the government itself wants to spoil the peace of Swat.

Mulana Fazalullah is a very common man and he cannot challenge the writ of the government by his own. Today he is the head of Swat state (because government of Pakistan has no writ there). In Swat the Talibans have their own judicial system, their own judges, their own law, their own way of punishment and their own way of administration.

Recently they have issued an administrative order that from January 15, 2009 there will be a complete ban on female education in Swat. Most of the schools have even acted upon this order from the very first day of its issuance and they have banned female education.

Mulana Fazlullah became the head of this State in just two years with the support of 1500 to 2000 millitants (as claimed by the government itself). Before 2005, his business was to run cable chair over the river Swat in his village Imam Dheri. This was the only source of his income. The ticket of this cable chairs was just Rs. 1 per head for one side trip, from this one can guess the chunk of money he was earning. This can just hardly support his family. In 2005, he started an illegal FM radio through which he was delivering some controversial and funny speeches. Most of the people were listing him on his illegal FM radio just to amuse themselves from his funny wordings.

What I mean to say that Mulana Fazlullah is just a common figure of the society and no more exceptional personality. The militants (The so-called talibans) in Swat are fighting the Pak Army, FC and police since 2006. During these two years they never faced the shortage of guns and ammunitions, so the question is, from where they get these guns, ammunitions and explosive materials in such a huge quantity that they are fighting the well-equipped (Jet fighters, Gunship helicopters, heavy artillery and bulletproof tanks) 40,000 security forces and exploding security posts, police stations, schools, markets, hotels, bridges, hospitals, electricity grid stations, telephone exchanges, gas supply plants and houses of political and intellectual personalities. Surprisingly the government is not stoping them from doing so, even they do all these activities during curfew hours.

Let me clear one thing that, the Talibans in Swat are composed of four groups, i.e. the locals (Swatis), Qabayalis (those belong to FATA),the banned Jehadi organisations from all over Pakistan (they are known as Panjabi Talibans here in Swat) and the forgniers ( Arabs, Tajik, Uzbek, Chechens, Indian etc). All these four groups work there under the umbrella of Pakistan government or government agencies. Here is a big question, you must want to ask, why the government itself want to do so? We are raising this question since last two year in Swat that why (and how) the government can do so? But this is what the ground reality. Because as I mentioned above how its possible for 2,000 militants to fight for two years against well-equipped 40,000 security forces and in the result 80% Swat is under the control of Militants and their power is growing.

More interestingly the illegal FM radio channel is still running. Can you believe that the government is not capable of banning this illegal FM radio? of course the government is, but it deliberately don’t want to ban it. How funny it is, when everyday we read in news paper that the 30 to 40 militant were killed in the Army operation. If you calculate, with this ratio it just need 4 to 5 months to finish all the militants in Swat! but the reality is totally against it, the number and influence of militants is increasing day by day despite of two years long operations. The only prominent effect of this operation is in the form of considerable deaths and casualties of common people and a huge disaster to infrastructure. Those who are fortunately not suffered from physical causalities are suffering from mental stress.

If you ask some one in Swat about the situation in Swat, no one can tell you the truth, because the truth exposes both the Talibans and the government, and in both cases slaughtering (from Taliban side) and gun shooting (from security forces) is one’s unfortunate (ultimate) fortune.

Let me also clear that the so-called Taliban in Swat don’t want Sheriyat in Swat, they just want power in which they have to define everything by their own. For example, what is wrong and what is right, this can only be define by Talibans. No one has the right to disagree with it, otherwise slaughtering is his fate. As far as I know, most of the local Talibans are from the lower and illiterate class and they have just a greed of power and revenge from this class divided society, the other non-local groups fight against the government as they were first created, raised and supported and then banned in the previous government. The non-local groups still get support and were getting support in past from agencies. In the past they were supported by the local agencies and now they are supported by local as will as foreign agencies. In this way, one can say that they are enjoying their golden period.

The Swat was famous all over in NWFP for its peace, beauty, high literacy rate and good financial status of its habitants .The people of Swat are hopeless for peace as the present situation is just like a “TOPI DRAMA”. The common man in Swat thinks that we cannot get back our old Swat in the coming 30 years as 200 schools, 80% bridges have been exploded. The tourism which was growing and was established as profitable industry is 100% destroyed.

Because of tourism Handicrafts was also an established business which is almost 100% destroyed. The education sector is almost destroyed. Health facilities are almost zero. Peace of mind has blown away. Unemployment is increasing day by day and the people are migrating to the other part of the country due to this unpredictable situation. In such a harmful situation, the silence of government is meaningful! There are no sincere efforts toward the real peace or plans for the rehabilitation.