Swat: Serene No More, JaeyN tou jaeyN kahaN

Posted on January 31, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Disasters, Photo of the Day, Society
38 Comments
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Adil Najam

This photograph from the Swat region needs little commentary, but deserves much thought.

The caption from Associated Press (photograph by Sherin Zada), reads in part:

A youngster sits beside his belongings as he waits for his parents to cross a river as they flee from a troubled area in Imam Dheri near Mingora, the main town of Pakistan’s Swat Valley, Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009.

One wonders what is going through the child’s head. With the Taliban after his body and soul, with civilian casualties in the military operation in Swat mounting, with American drone attacks in the tribal belt further away, and with a polity in chaos in the rest of the country, it is not as if he has too many options to fall back on. He seems to be looking pensively (possibly across the river); but to what?

38 responses to “Swat: Serene No More, JaeyN tou jaeyN kahaN

  1. Usama Zia says:

    Very bad situation in Swat and military forces seem to be failure in these areas. What is the future of this child?

  2. Gorki says:

    I admire the author for using a few words and an appropriate picture to sum up what the ongoing battle in SWAT and in Pakistan is about.
    The innocent child sitting amid his meagre belongings in a beautiful lush valley may very well be a metaphor for Pakistan itself, maybe the entire South Asia.
    The small child is all of us, in these hard and uncertain times yet surrounded by all the splendor of this beautiful corner of the God’s beautiful World.
    The battle that is going on is not only for the heart and soul of this one child but also for the heart and soul of the entire Pakistani nation and perhaps the entire South Asia.

    The picture should remind all sane and good people why we all should be involved in some way, any way, to make sure that such kids do not sit on a wayside, apparently homeless but go to school everyday getting a good education.

    It is only by a united effort of the entire nation (supporting, educating, demonstrating) that the government and the security forces can succeed.

    This is the only way that in the end we all can save ourselves.

  3. Eidee Man says:

    The situation in Swat and surrounding areas is indeed very depressing. However, I’m still hopeful; I find it hard to believe that a group of people who have successfully and decisively fought against every group that has come their way will give in to a bunch of Taliban; I just hope that they are driven out to their own wretched country (Afghanistan) before they do any more damage to Swat.

  4. ASghar says:

    Very poignant photograph. The composition is very moving. The steel trunk and the look and stance of the child. The sadness is so real. And yet the background shows what a beautiful place this was and still is. So very sad.

  5. Anwar says:

    A sad turn of events… the problem was allowed to brew out of hand. Thugs should have been crushed long ago…

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