Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Life of Innocents In Pakistan - (Swat Valley)

The following write up is a story that I wanted to share with the readers of my blog! Something that I read this morning in one of the newspapers!! The issue of terrorism and its adverse effect on cultural and social aspects of life stays in my mind a lot many times , supporting the cause by spreading the thought! Is what I am trying to do here!

The four-hour drive from Islamabad to Saidu Sharif, capital of the Swat Valley, and the adjacent town of Mingora is not long enough to prepare me for arrival. The world of Swat is altogether different; it’s a bit like a first-timer landing at Heathrow or the JFK airport in New York from a remote town in Pakistan.

I drove to Swat after the Pakistan National Assembly endorsed the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation on April 14, which was then signed by President Asif Ali Zardari. The resolution, passed without any debate in the assembly, was opposed only by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which chose to walk out, and by a PML (Nawaz) member. The PPP (People’s Party), and the ANP (Awami National Party) agreed to the regulation, with the hope of achieving peace in Swat.

And there was peace while I was there. The bazaars were buzzing with activity till late at night, which was obviously not the case during the days of war.

The people appeared happy to me, but when I pointed this out to local friends, they replied this was to be expected after months of non-stop war. All shops were open but not a single female could be seen anywhere -- neither in the markets nor elsewhere in the Valley.

A few Taliban walked around, but with dandas instead of their usual Kalashinkovs. The police were absent, except for the two cops trying to clear traffic jams. The army could not be seen anywhere but one knew of their existence as their bunkers were perched on tops of many hills, and guns peeping from behind sandbags on the rooftops of a few buildings.

There is hardly a police station or check-post left in the Valley. Almost all the major buildings have been destroyed or damaged. Almost every second house had bullet marks, especially in the town of Kanju, outside Mingora.

The most depressing aspect is the systematic destruction of almost all the schools (more than 200 are said to have been destroyed); and it is not confined to girls’ schools. A few tented schools have been set up, but a majority of children have no school to attend.

All major hospitals were looted as the militants moved equipment, including the beds and medicines, to establish hospitals for their comrades, and to prevent the armed forces from using these facilities.

The agreement signed by the ANP-led provincial government in the frontier with the Tehreeke Nifaze Shariate Mohammadi on February 17 must be credited with bringing about the present peace. But it stipulates implementation of the Shari’ah in the Malakand Division, which encompasses more than one-third of the Frontier Province.

Militants have assumed control of a vast area in the neighbouring district, Buner. Private property is being seized and looted, and young men being asked to join the Taliban movement.

The people of these underdeveloped and poor areas are depressed, and have lost trust in the law-enforcement agencies to provide them security. Pakistani rulers have failed to give the people a stake in the system and the country.

If they do not have food, clothing, roads, electricity, jobs, schools, or hospitals, and now, not even security of life and limb, then what interest do they have in this system? What difference does it make to them who is in power in Saidu Sharif, Peshawar or Islamabad?

(The author is a freelance columnist, and an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.(CONTRIBUTOR))

Link to The original article By (Anees Jillani)Link


PULKIT said...

dearest readers of my blog,
Was reading about this in newspapers and also watching this excessively on televison that living conditions and social as well as cultural aspect of life in this particular portion of pak, popularly known as swat valley is deteriorating day by day!
It pains and itches deep within my heart that each day is a living struggle for females and children specially residing in that area!
I pray for them!


Anonymous said...

The ill effects of the Pakistan Government's decision to impose Islamic{Shariat}laws in the SWAT region of the North West Frontier Province have come to the forefront.It has taken us back to the barbaric days where people had no rights.The rights of the people have been crushed by the Taliban which should have no place in a civilized society.Also shows that the Pakistan Government's committment to root out terrorism emanating from its soil is a mere hogwash as it has failed to flush out militant Taliban from the region which is posing a serious threat to humanity and carrying out brutal and uncivilized acts in the name of jihad.

paramveer said...

IF I see the things in selfish manner then i have nothing business with this all but concern is that if taliban finally conquer whole pak and its nuclear weapons then whole world specially my country will hv 2 pay smthing unexcpected and unaccepted!!!

uncle SAM is holding everything like puppets and HE must do sthing serious rather than just being a veapon supplier for both ind and pak.


Satans Darling™ said...

I agree with Paramveer above. Honestly, I did not care! But you know what, there is no other option left in store coz slowly and steadily these people will create a havoc across the world if not stopped or acted upon!

I hope something happens for the good of the people in Swat valley!

rimsha said...

hey pulkit .m ur frnd Rimsha ..u know they r not real muslims ..m also disheartened of all this .but good to see u r writing for the sake of humanity ...n true terrorism has no religion

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the article with us Pulkit.
These are stuff I had first read about in detail in the book "A Thousand Splendid Suns"

My thoughts on the matter- Nothing!
Because a)my problems are minuscule in comparison. b)There is nothing I can do for these people. Hell the leaders of the world together are not being able to tackle the Taliban or for that matter recession!
I do worry about their infiltrating further into Pak with its nuclear base & then into (god forbid) Kashmir...

PULKIT said...

@ saurabh bhaiya - thanks for the response again!
glad to have it from ur end!

PULKIT said...

@ param -the point that u have raised here is truly an apt one!
but how pity it is... that we both ( india and pakistan) helding enormous security budjet ourself every year right from 47 are depending on some other country which is not even belonging to our region to get a few bunch of distracted mujahiddin out of our land! :(

PULKIT said...

@ satan's darling - thanks for the visit and the comments here !!

PULKIT said...

@ choco - thanks for the visit and the comments! and u did had ur points , then y did u said...ur views nothing... :) :P
tc god bless!

PULKIT said...

there are so many of people who dont bother much about the people living in other country or region but since u live there... and since ur just a part of me, my friend and just like a family member..
so that means! that country is mine too :)
tc of urself rimsha!
may god bless u and all the people of ur country with everything u desire for ...
my prayers always with u:)

priyanka said...

nice post bro....... well Swat which is reamarked as "the Paradise of Asia" is this title still belongs to this beautiful valley? I really wonder... Once known as a paradise now its known as the centre of terror, I really pray for every one as the talibans have already announced their intention to carry out their idea of justice across all of Pakistan and if this happens we would be their next target,and i also agree to u pulkit on a note i.e. the dependency on the other nation

PULKIT said...

@ priyanka - hey sis! thanks a lot for the feedback! Love u loads! tc god bless!

ROHIT GOEL said...

It's disheartening to see that a group of extremists have dominated the swat valley. It's devil's government running there.It won't be surprising , to see their roots expanding all over the asia and other countries..

I strongly feel that all the allied nations should act immediately to curb such horrendous acts prevailing in the pakistan, else it might be late to deal with them in the near future..
The defence ministry of not only Pak but of all nations should realize that with the advancement of technology in chemical and biological weapons , the terrorists groups may become extremely to tackle with.
It's a very serious issue that all nations should look upto .

HAve lot's to say about this but am restricted by the limited words that i can pen down..

ROHIT GOEL said...

Pulkit continue to bring such issues .As each one of are very much concerned with these.


PULKIT said...

@ rohit - thanks bro! for boh visiting and reading the page with such a jest!
true is what all u have said bro!
evryone who is humanitarian is worried!
anyways... will try to pen down more of whatever I truly feel from the heart in near future too!
god bless!

Ekam said...

I read this article in yesterday's Times of India, I guess. I can only say this thing, in the movie 'Mumbai meri jaan' , there's a dialogue where a character says "aane wale baccho ko pehle se hi is terrorism ki aadat ho jayegi" . This is so true .
Even for us , for our generation, its like a part of everyday . A blast or terrorists somewhere does not come across us as a shock... I hope the next generation does not have to see it again.

PULKIT said...

@ ekam - hey sis! thanks for the reply!
tc god bless!
ur very very correct... each one of us is now in a habit of living like this!