Oppression of women and other ordinary citizens by Taliban and army in Swat – by Hamid Mir

Swat – valley of horror and terror
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
by Hamid Mir

The home of Hameedullah Khan in Shakardra village of Swat was destroyed by dynamite last week. He knows who the people who did this to him but he can turn to no one for justice. He has been a journalist from more than a decade. I know him because it was me who encouraged him to become a reporter 13 years ago when I was editor of an Urdu newspaper. These days he works for an Arab TV channel. The Taliban were not happy him and he claims that some local Taliban destroyed his home because of his reporting. This now homeless journalist has since shifted his family to Mardan.

I also know another journalist of Swat by the name of Musa Khankhel from many years. In the last few months alone, he has survived two assassination attempts. He told me that some elements within the security forces wanted to eliminate him physically due to his reporting. The majority of people in Swat are not happy at all with either the Taliban or the security forces – and sadly, the ultimate beneficiaries of this situation are criminals. Swat has become a paradise of dacoits, car lifters and professional killers. It’s a valley without any law.

I have seen dead bodies of innocent civilians killed by security forces in Kuza Bandai town of Swat with my own eyes. I have also seen some brave shopkeepers of Matta challenging the orders of Taliban in their face without any state protection. When I discussed this situation with the elected member of the National Assembly from Matta Syed Allaudin he gave me a heart-breaking answer. The PPP MNA said: “I have not visited my area even once since I won the election on Feb 18 last year. The Taliban as well as security forces are responsible for destroying peace in Swat. If I cannot enter in my area how can I help my voters there?”

Syed Allaudin, Hameedullah Khan and Musa Khankhel can tell their stories to the world with their own names but many cannot speak their heart because there is nobody to listen them or to provide them any justice. Let me tell you the one tragic story of a religious scholar. I cannot expose the full identity of this religious scholar due to the dangers that he faces but I will narrate his story. It’s not the tragic story of just one man; it’s the tale of an entire nation’s powerlessness.

Recently I met him in Peshawar. Mufti sahib broke into tears as he was telling me his story, but I couldn’t even rise from my chair and offer him some solace. His head bowed, Mufti sahib kept crying, unable to stop. Finally he looked up, grief darkening his face, and said: “I don’t know to whom I should go. Who is there to hear my cry and give me justice, I don’t need justice for myself but for hundreds of thousands of my daughters? They are crying out, but no one is listening.”

Mufti Sahib comes from Mingora where for the past 18 years he had worked at a madressah as a teacher. Recently a woman had come to him, hoping he would find some solution to the problem she faced. She belonged to the village of Kuza Bandai, situated on the banks of the Swat river – which in years gone by was famous for its trout. Her husband had died some years back in a road accident. Since the woman already had an F.A. certificate, she found work in a private school in Mingora which was not all that far, and thus could support herself and her three children while continuing to live in Kuzah Bandai. Eventually she also got a degree in bachelor’s of education. Due to the uncertain law and order situation in the Swat valley during the last sixteen months or so most of the educational institutions were closed. But the schools in Mingora stayed open and the woman continued working.

A few days back, when she returned home in the evening from her school in Mingora, one of her neighbours came to see her. The neighbour told her that now Sharia had been imposed and women were prohibited from going out of homes without any reason, and so from the next morning she would not be able to go to her work. The woman said to her neighbour, with some degree of fear and exasperation: “Look, you know very well why I work. Every morning I take my children with me to Mingora, leave them at their school, and then go to my job at the school where I teach. And when my job finishes I go back and pick up my children and return home. They will starve to death if I stop working because as you know my husband is no longer alive.”

The neighbour told her: “We will not let your children die of hunger but you must not go out anymore.” The self-respecting lady did not wish to live like a beggar, and so the same night she took her children and returned to Mingora, to her sister’s house, and continued working. However, the elements who don’t want women to go out of their homes went to the principal of the school where the woman worked and told the principal that either he closed down the school or fired the woman!

Scared and worried to death, the woman somehow learned that there were in that group of militants some young men who had studied from Mufti sahib in his madressah. She hoped that he might be able to help her. She told her story to Mufti sahib and next day Mufti sahib contacted one of his former students hoping there would be some way out. This former student was from Khwazakhela – which is close to the Karakoram Highway and Battagram district — and had joined the local militants a year ago, after his younger brother was killed in an operation carried out by the security forces. The former student talked to his fellow militants but they refused to budge. It seems that they think they will lose their lose their authority in the area they let the woman work outside her home.

Mufti sahib then went to talk to the militants in person. During the conversation he remarked that it was not jihad when a Muslim fought another Muslim. The commander of the militants got angry and said: “We commemorate the martyrs of Karbala on the 10th of Muharram. Was not the jihad of those martyrs against a government that called itself Islamic?”

Mufti sahib then explained to him the full context of the events of Karbala and told them that their resistance is not Islamic. He tried to explain to them that women had played a key role in the spread or Islam. He told them: “The light of Islam was spread not only by men, some women also contributed courageously by coming out of their homes. History received the great story of the sacrifices of the Karbala martyrs through Hazrat Zainab (RA), daughter of Hazrat Ali (RA). As a child, she was a great favourite of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). She had become even during the life of her father, Hazrat Ali (RA), a learned speaker, and used to expound on the Holy Quran before women. At Karbala, she saw all the male members of her family killed before her eyes. And when she was taken as a prisoner before ‘Ubaidallah bin Ziyad, the ruler of Kufah, she boldly confronted him with words of truth. Then, after an arduous journey, she was brought before Yazid in Damascus. There too she stood boldly and refused to acknowledge him as the caliph. The thundering voice of Hazrat Ali’s daughter frightened Yazid so much that he had her taken back to Madina together with the remaining members of the revered family. Had there not been Zainab the world would not have any awareness of the heights of glory reached by the martyrs of Karbala.”

Mufti sahib further said to the commander: “The history of Islam is filled with stories of other bold and courageous women besides Zainab. Had not these women stepped out of their homes, Islam might not have spread so swiftly.” He also recounted the story of Hazrat Safiya, who was the Prophet’s (PBUH) aunt and a sister of Hazrat Hamza (RA). During the battle with the Jewish tribe, Banu Quraiza, she attacked a spy of the enemy, cut off his head and threw it toward the enemy’s ranks. Then there was Hazrat Umm-e Ammarah, who wielded her sword alongside the Prophet (PBUH) in the Battle of Uhad. And when a stone struck the Prophet (PBUH) and shattered two of his teeth, it was Umm-e Ammarah who then protected the Prophet from an enemy’s attack.”

As Mufti sahib was narrating these incidents to the commander, the latter started accusing him of being an ‘agent’ of the security forces, and had him arrested. Eventually, at the behest of his former students, Mufti sahib regained freedom, but the very next day he was relieved of his duties at the madressah. Not only that, he was also ordered to leave Swat altogether within two days. His efforts to obtain justice on behalf of an oppressed woman ended in making him homeless.

But his tears before me were not on account of his own loss. The reason was that few days earlier the lady who had struggled so hard to take care of her three fatherless children was first declared a prostitute by the militants and then killed. According to Mufti Sahib, Swat was totally peaceful until two years ago. Then the government of Pervez Musharraf destroyed its peace. It spilled the blood of innocent people, and now the same innocent people had become greatest oppressors. They are killing each other in the name of Islam. What a great irony that the dictator who loudly proclaimed his “enlightened moderation” cast Swat into the clutches of religious extremism. And now he is going around the world lecturing on peace.

Mufti Sahib told me: “In Swat, the state and non-state elements are both the oppressors. They are both tyrannical. Our ulema will have to show the same boldness and courage that Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) showed, for Swat has also become another Karbala. The ulema will have to stand up on behalf of those countless women who are being made prisoners in their homes in the name of Islam, and on whom all doors of education are being closed.” If the ulema do not raise a united voice now on behalf of their sisters and daughters there will be no one left to listen to their stories of Hazrat Safiya, Hazrat Umm-e-Ammarah and Hazrat Zainab.

The writer works for Geo TV and hosts Capital Talk. Email: hamid.mir@geo.tv


Protest by the Civil Society in Islamabad. Call for an effective military operation against the Taliban. BBC Urdu Report



Some Comments: (a post-mortem of Samia Raheel Qazi)
Re Live with Talat 12 Jan 2009

  1. engsaaiqbal Says:

    I appriciate… words from rahila Qazi that these militants are the ISI agents absalutly right,as i am the resident of swat the atomic country armay hand over the pathom istitute of management in gulibagh swat yesterday after along negosiation between taliban leader (mula mushtaq) and army officers.Now the people come to know that this is the drama.The government take money from america to show something to them distributing among the high officers of army.If you notice the army ratio of killing is rare in every incident then police and Frontier Constabulary and the most suffering are the inocent people of swat.If the army can not control 2000 militants so how they will defeate the indian army.We will request to stop killing of pakistani people for the sake of dollers.

  2. nawaz.bhatti Says:

    When it comes to human rights, I will say yes human life is a gift of GOD. Humans are humans irrespective of religion. Children, are innocent everyhere. Similarly slaughtering some one without any trial is un-islamic. Who says to slaughter a dancer ? I this islam? Who says to slaughter a political opponent? Is this Islam?

    Last but not least: Yeps genocide of Palestenian is never accepted. Similiraly the killings of innocent Isreali children is also haram? Who knows wether these Israeli kids may die muslims or Jews?

    The most important is that why muslims all over the world are highlighting the ARAB issue, specially some pakistani politicians? Although they are well aware that the death toll of innocent people in SWAT, and FATA is 100 times more than Palestine.

    Why the Pashtun Genocide is not highlighted?

    Because the ARABS are rich so ARABS get more attension….and PASHTUNS are poor , so they are used as a fuel to burn super powers. They are exploited more by muslims than by non-muslims. The muslims are doing the business of Pahtun blood from 1979 untill now. This is the fact , no one is sincere about religion. That is all about money and material gain.

    Kill Pashtuns, get dollar and Riyaal, Darham….

    I never seen any ARAB or other muslim to protest for human rights voilation of pahstuns…have you seen one? You will never see any muslim to highlight this genocide on international forums….I am dissapointed at least…..

    Do you think ARABs are the best muslims and best humans than the rest of the muslims?

    May Allah save all of you

  3. diamondcut Says:

  4. Pakistan army is working with RAW against tribal people…

    True Face of Jamat-e-Islami like all other relgious parties.I won’t be surprised if all the killings of ANP leaders at Swat,Mardan and peshawar have some MMA connection to regain these constituencies!!!
    Isn’t this ironic that all political parties leaders of all parties mainly ANP are getting assasinated except MMA.

  5. I think the time has to come to draw a line whether they are with pakistan side or with those criminal gangs(talibans).

  6. dara Says:

    Samia Raheel Qazi should be sitting in her house making and taking care of babies as this is the massage of Talibans, who have introduced their own Islam.

  7. No education for girls, no barber shops, no job for women , you will be killed if you have difference of opinion on any thing.
    Why Qazi Hussain and other Mullahs have sent their daughters to assembly and ask women to vote in Lahore and Karachi where as they stop women to do so in NWFP and other psrts?

  8. If it was a jihad then why not Qazi and other mullah go and fight or at least send their sons, but their children are living like other elites in Pakistan? F/K with you Jihad.

  1. kurkosmici Says:

  2. I must say here, that we Pakistani are not a nation but a conspiracy. pakistan was created not for the Muslims but for conspiracy.
    This is very obvious that If we have problem in our own house e.g if in my house i have problem with my father or mother or with any family members, THAN how come i will try to solve the problems for my neighbours.

  3. Why we Pakistani not shouting for our own land. Because of USA attack in Pakistan, all the politicians, businessman, media,elite class and bareucrates are making money.

  4. We must solve our problems first and than others.

  5. nawaz.bhatti Says:

  6. read the story of a noble school teacher [by Hamid Mir] , who was declared a prostitutute and then slaughtered by Taliban. She was doing job to serve her 3 kids, whose father was died in an accident in SWAT.


    When will we wake up?

    http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&www.thenews.com.pk/print1. asp?id=156813

  7. nawaz.bhatti Says:

    Rahila QAZI, i will ask one question.

    How can RAW and Pakistan army work together to kill the pakistan army?

    Yes it is true that Pakistan army is doing this dramma to kill people in swat and fata.

    If RAW can hit a settled area like swat why not RAW can target area like moreedkay, or Faridkot?

  8. nawaz.bhatti Says:

    we demand resignation from the cowarb man , Bilour. He does’t deserve to lead the pashtuns. shame shame

  9. Utmankhel1 Says:


    Thanks for being there.

    Thanks Ghazala.

    Rest are bastards. And look at the bitch …. she is twisting the facts …. your f..g ummah …

    We demand immediate resignation of Bilour from his position in ANP. He does not deserve to be representing Pukhtuns.

Utmankhel1 Says:

I think ANP should come out clear and tell the truth that ARMY wants it to sign the deal of Waziristan in exchange for peace in Swat.

Ghost Of TK says:

Nothing gives me more plaisir than to watch Hijabi Beardo’s squeal like little munafiq pigs against their eternal benefactor Uncle Sam.

Oh that sinking feeling of realization the you’ve been USED by the mossad! buahhahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

And what was that stupid sh!t at the end about Pakistan Army, The FAGGOTaliBAN and the RAW working together in the FATA??

This woman needs to get some fvcking oxygen to her brain.

Another example of the anti-pakistan nature of Jamatias and an indication of WHERE EXACTLY their loyalties lie. Now they’re saying anything they can due to “bad-hawaasi” and their pimp Unky Sam leaving them in the lurch!

Don’t worry mulwatta’s! Rest assured, you’re still working for the Zionists! YOU FOOLS!

xtra Says:

These generals, liberal facists with munafiq so called taliban are nothing but a BREEDED GENERATION from UNCLE SAM PIG….. These mo..er f…ker are enjoying their life on the blood of innocent childerns, women and men…. Last eight years, nation suffered military dictator liberal fascist and now suffering from civilian dictator liberal fascist zardariiiiii…..

kafka8 Says:

pakistani electronic media did a wonderful job with the free judiciary movement. however…it is increasingly obvious that they ..focus only on local issues..and harldy carry an international perspective or angle to what is unfolding in the world and how that has relevance to pakistan. ..the lack of an international/historical perspective seriously limits the depth of analysis.

Kashif Says:

I agree with nawaz.bhatti that world has shown double standards for Arab blood and blood spilled in rest of the Asia and Africa. In Africa especially civil wars are much more brutal and people live and die in much more misery but it goes un-noticed because of their economic conditions. Pushtoons, Bengalis, Punjabis, Kashmiris, Tamils etc are victims of many brutal crack down in past 4 decades or so but they didn’t get same attention in UN as Palestinians did. Palentinians them selves are not rich but they are supported by rich Arabs and opposed by rich jews and that helps them get hot seat in UN and every US administration.

The other thing that rightly baffeled Talat was that Rahela Qazi didn’t say a word against brutal extremists. I can understand she is extremist herself so politically its not easy for her to condem them. But its not her majority of moderates in Pakistan who are not even threatend by extremists don’t say much about them. We are going through very serious crisis unlike any we may have faced. Our traditional approach of bashing leaders to come out of crisis won’t work because it has never worked. I remember we hated every ruler, Zia, BB, NS, Mushraaf and now Zardari. It didn’t help our issues are getting from bad to worse. Our approach towards issues is falwed, instead of focusing on issues, we focus on individuals and when the individual is failed we try the next one thats what we are doing for past 60 years with out much success.

Utmankhel1 Says:

An innocent killed is innocent killed,and the killer has to be condemned.

Qazi’s hands are soaked with innocents blood, so how can we expect his daughter to condemn her father.

Talat did his job, people of pukhtunkhwa now should be asking Bilour as to what was he afraid of while speaking there.

Utmankhel1 Says:

Punjabis are killing Balochis.

.. Army and it’s boot licking mullahs are killing pashtuns. While the … awlaads of pak army’s dogs (imran, qazi) are supporting the killers.

You will see one day we will stuck the fu..g ideas of imran and qazi up their a$$es. We do not wan’t this umma $hit anymore and won’t let our children be brainwashed by the …children (Qazi and Imran) of ISI to brainwash our children..

…..it is a fact that till this day those who have dared to speak belong to ANP.

JI on the other hand is the criminal, and PTI have sympathies with them.

And i don’t blame army, blame is not appropriate word.

Read this, the voices are out now ….


we_are_nuts says:

“….unnnnhhh Amerika, Israel, India”

-Raheela, what did you have for breakfast?

“Talat, Amerika, Israel, India…”

-But Raheela what about Jordon, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia (where your party is funded from) who have given a blank check to Israel to slaughter the Palestinians? What about Mehmood Abbass of Fateh who has actually condemned Hammas for the recent killing of Paelstinians?

“Talat unnnhhh, Amerika, Israel, India….”

-But Raheela, what about this recent piece from Hamid Mir (pioneer member of the Morality in the Mooch Birgade) about the zulum-u-sitam of Taliban on women and a widow trying to feed her kids?


“Talat, unnnnhhhh Amerika, Israel, and India..”

I wrote this to somebody who sent me an e-mail about Israeli terrorism and killing on innocent Palestinians in Gaza:

What happens in Gaza is due to the mother f***ers in American colony of Jordan (ruler apparently from Quraish, whose forefathers changed sects to stay in power; read Sharif of Mecca) the viagra taking blood suckers of the House of Sauds (Khadmain Haramian Tatoo-e-Amerikian Shah co*k sucker) and the ignorant bastards (sons of who**s; i dont have anything against who**s, just sons like Hosni Mubarak who like to f**k young boys). They are responsible for the plight of the Palestinians. Also add that Palestinian bit*h enjoying the Hashmite c**ks in Jordan named Queen Rania.

The Americans and Israeliss are NOT responsible at ALL. I dont see any protest in Jericho. I am with the people of Jericho, on the Island of West Bank, Middle East, planet Earth.

Please spare the poor Pakistani/Indian muslims on the plight of the Palestinians. I will care for the f**kers when the Palestinian wh**e Rania comes and feeds the homeless people of Bajaur Agency. I know she is not comming because she has been talking to another gr8 former Pakistani enjoying Hashmite co*ks named Princess Sarvath Ikramullah wife of former crown prince of Jordan and d/o Muhammad Ikramullah first foreign secretary of Pakistan. Pakistanis have a deep tradition of harming the Palestinians ala Black September Operation headed by the fifth khalifa of muslims his highness Khalifae Pakistan Zia-ul-haq himself. Along with Princess Sarvath’s ‘devar’ he killed many Palestinians in the Black September Operation.

I recommend that although Pakistani men shouldnt go out and repeat the 1970 operation against the Palestinians now, they should sit home and jerk off to Queen wh**e Rania’s pictures and lament as to how a 4ft man can marry somebody like that. To do more like protest, try to arrange some jihad bull crap, use words like Islam/unity/massacre in explaining the current situation is not only stupid but futile.

Upon his reply and insistance on praying, i couldn’t resist but had to reply:

“From: Mahmood Hussain, Syed
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2009 16:16:52 +0500

Dude what r u talking about??? You are not making any sense man!!

The focus is on the daily deadly operations carried out against civilians by Israeli Terrorists…we are not dealing with high level diplomacy and politics at the moment…these are war times there right now…peace in the middle east – pray!”


Peace in the middle east will only come after the terrorists that i mentioned are dead i.e. King Choota Hussein, Hosni D*ck Mubarak and King D*ckullah of Saudi. High level diplomacy? Have you ever heard of the Rafah border? Hosni Mubarak can open it with one twitch of his old di*k. Send an e mail about that asking for him to open the Rafah border so the suffering can be relieved. Have you ever heard of Saudi international pressure i.e., stop producing oil, or start moving world capitals to mobilize aid for the poor people of Gaza? Why dont you send an email for that? And King Hussein of Jordan, well he is busy doing the who*e…

I appreciate your concern for the Palestinians and if you have any relatives that live there or have died i am sorry for that, but i am not going to sit quiet when stupid emails are sent around trying to tell me that Israelis are killing Gazans. What’s new?

The ground level situation only changes when some high level diplomat decides to change it. If the enablers are the same people that are jetting around the world trying to stop it, what is happening is what you get. Maybe

Hamas has learned something from Hizbullah from 2006. Thats your only hope. For right now, the Arab govts and OIC have given Israel a blank check on Hamas while they enjoy Pamela Anderson in Sharam-al-Sheikh. Israel is not going to end an operation because you are pissed.

I pray for the Gazans as well and probably know more Palestinians (besides Krystle maybe) than a lot of people on this e-mail. Believe you me, my Jericho Palestinian is not crying at all. We all saw a very funny movie this weekend and she wants you to know ‘Hamas are animals’. I dont say it, she does. Thats why i said, i dont see any fire storms in the West Bank; When i do i will join the chorus. For now why *jaan na pehchaan Bari Khala salaam* ?