Stories about Swat

Returning to a Swat I can’t remember

Bracing myself for the worst, I started my journey to Swat. Before leaving, I had a prepared myself. The image in my mind was of piles of rubble, an area marred by blood baths and destruction with battered souls, lost children, broken widows and childless mothers  I was anxious to go and wary of what I might find there. A bullet-ridden Swat was something my mind refused to register.  I hadn’t visited my family in Swat for three years and then they had to leave their homes to take shelter in the rest of the province. The inhabitants of Swat were refugees in their own country. ...

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Is Khyber Pakhtunkhwa better off than NWFP?

“Why was naming our province Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in the course of ANP’s tenure so crucial?” I have asked my father repeatedly and consequently got into long discussions on why NWFP just had be renamed. Was this the issue that surpassed all our other problems? I don’t think so. When I asked several colleagues the same question one said, “I don’t think I care whether it’s called KPK or NWFP. We’re knee-deep in a serious crisis that needed to be tackled first. This could have been addressed later.” Over all, the name change was met with a lot of enthusiasm from the pro-Pakhtunkhwa population but has faced a resistence ...

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Child soldiers and the rehab challenge

Pakistan is a land of very diversified and emotional people, whose emotionalism ranges at high levels in all directions. Whether it is a cricket match or an invasion on a Muslim land, our emotions have acted as our guides rather than our intellect. This is what the Taliban exploit to gather public attention. They manipulate ‘religious emotions’ and create a spin in the public. It does not end here. One of the horrific practices the Taliban have adopted is to manipulate children from the age group of 14 – 20. They are trained to be suicide bombers. It is ...

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