Mingora, Sanghota, Fizza Ghat, Charbagh, Kabal, Kanju, Kot, Saidu Shairf, Manglawar, Gul Bagh, Salandhary, Dheri, Telligram, Matta, Khawazakhela, Dherai, and the whole of Malakund division and the suburbs are watching an unprecedented exodus of people from these areas due to the heavy fighting between security forces and the religious militants. The heaven of Swat is turning fast into the hell for everyone in the region.
At one side, from the center of Maulana Fazlullah Imam Dheri, FM radio is urging the people to join hands with the militants against security forces, and Taliban are literally in the control of most of the Swat region excluding Saidu Sharif and some of other little areas. Militants, who are calling them Talibans, are patrolling the Swat region and displaying the arms. They are also attacking security forces, and have also beheaded some 20 officials.
At the other side, security forces by using modern weapons and gunship helicopters are trying to curb the militants, but they are stunned to see the widespread influence of these militants. They are realizing that this is not Lal Masjid and not even Waziristan. Lal Masjid was a very small scale thingie, and a very small trailer. Waziristan is different because it’s the un-settled area of FATA and the residents of Waziristan are not that much mingled with rest of the Pakistan, whereas Swat is a settled area and residents are fully linked to Pakistan, and they understand and speak the Urdu, Punjabi and other languages. Difficult terrain, hostile people, angry militants and multiple combat flash points have made the task of security officials more difficult.
Gunship copters are pounding the militants’ hideouts in Swat region, and militants are responding back. Armed encounters between the two are leaving a huge number of people dead and wounded. Swat is offering a deserted look and no one is seen on the roads. The situation is tense and the people are vacating the area. Things are getting very alarming, and it’s true that there would have been a totally different scenario were there a political solution being pursued.