Fazal Khaliq

A reporter for The Express Tribune in Swat.

Legalising non-customs paid vehicles

Recently, the federal government announced the registration of smuggled vehicles from Afghanistan through special packages with the objective of legalising the non-customs paid vehicles. However, all quarters have denounced the decision, saying that duty on such vehicles is an open violation of Articles 246 and 247 of the Constitution under which the Malakand division has been exempted from taxes. It has been learnt from government sources that the imposition of taxes, of up to Rs15 billion, will generate sizeable revenues for revenue collection. The federal government is also of the opinion that the nominal announced package of payment, for the owners of ...

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The anti-Malala propaganda

A protest by students against the renaming of Saidu Sharif Degree College after the 15-year-old peace activist, Malala Yousafzai, was no surprise to me. The demonstration by female students shocked those who adore the iconic activist. However, the dissent was a result of a planned conspiracy against Malala. Ever since Malala received the National Peace Award from the prime minister, a group which roots itself along religious lines swung into action and criticised the young girl for receiving unnecessary importance.  On October 9, when she was shot by unidentified assailants, public opinion against Taliban brutalities reached a new high. Malala had ...

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The curse of swara

“I will kill myself but will not marry an older man. I am ready to bear any other punishment but will not submit to the jirga’s decision of giving me away in swara. Why are they sacrificing me for my brother’s fault?” After uttering those words, she burst into tears. Her every word pierced my heart. As my interview of the girl came to an end, an unending string of gloomy thoughts engulfed me and I pondered over the state of women’s rights in our society. I came to the conclusion that in a male-dominated society, women live only to protect the ...

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Criminal silence over genocide of Muslims

Nowadays, on every social media outlet, tales of the ruthless killings of Burmese Muslims at the hands of angry Buddhist mobs and the Burmese Army are visible. Along with these tales, criticism on Muslim countries and international media for observing criminal silence over this genocide is also observed. According to some international news agencies, ten Muslims were killed when a Buddhist mob attacked a bus carrying Muslim passengers in the Rakhine (Arkan) province of Burma. They were blamed for the gang rape of a Buddhist woman, who was later murdered. The incident sparked a widespread protest in the country among Muslim ...

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Start the rails: Of the NATO supply route

About six months have passed since the tragic incident at Salala by the US-led Nato forces followed by the closure of Nato supply routes to Afghanistan through Pakistan. All major parties, except government allies, found an opportunity to shine their politics on the issue. They would not tire of announcing large-scale protests and long marches if the government opened the route. On the other hand, the US and Nato are repeatedly asking Pakistan to open the route which means that either there is no alternative for them to take equipment to their forces or it is more expensive to export it ...

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Reviving tourism in Swat

Known for its dazzling beauty with high-peak mountains, lush green valleys, spectacular waterfalls and magical lakes, Swat Valley has remained a tourist’s paradise. Containing thousands of years of history, the valley is not only known for its natural beauty but also for its rich cultural heritage and various civilisations which sprang there. Apart from summer tourism, the valley offers much more for winter tourists. Every year, the skiing slope of Malam Jabba is swarmed with tourists who enjoy the serene environment and hills covered in snow. Tourism, apart from agriculture, is the backbone of Swat’s economy. More than half of ...

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Journalists need to help Swat

All reporters and journalists should join hands together to help rebuild Swat Valley and restore it to its previous glory. Known as the Switzerland of Asia, the region was, it seems, deliberately pushed into the hands of extremists who were not only financially nurtured but also backed, many say, by the powers that be. There is considerable evidence of this, especially in how Mullah Fazlullah, then head of the Swat Taliban, was allowed to air his venomous broadcasts to the people of the valley for many months. I would request all my colleagues and other patriotic reporters of my country to write ...

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Conspiracy theories surrounding Swat

Since Swat valley witnessed the ugly face of the Fazlullah-led Talibanisation movement, a hot topic for discussion has been the theory of unseen powers working behind the game. Be it street talk or scholarly analysis, the locals give vent to the perception that some ‘secret hands’ nurtured the mayhem that plagued the paradise on earth for years. Ironically, no one dares to expose any names of the actors responsible for the growth of what can only be called ‘barbarism’. Many are of the opinion that the Taliban and the security forces are two sides of a coin engaged in a game ...

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