Swat: Serene No More, JaeyN tou jaeyN kahaN

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

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

  1. readinglord says:

    @Bloody Civilian

    You say:

    “Floating a tender for FM transmitter spotting equipment, available in any trade catalogue, only a few days ago, is a good start.”

    I wonder why are they after the FM transmitters. Have they admittedly last even the propaganda war with the Taliban?

    The problem is that both sides are using or abusing the fair name of Islam – one side doing so moderately and the other one rather extremely. Naturally, the extremist has the upper hand.

    Now take the issue of woman’s education. The moderates quote an Hadees to the effect that education is a ‘fareezah’ (obligatory) both for men and women. But as far as I know even Imam Ghazali was not aware of this hadees as I could gather from his book ‘Ehyaae Aloom’.

    Can any body refer me to the relevant source of the hadees?

  2. Gorki says:

    @ Amir Ali

    “Its not just jawans who have sacrificed their lives in this terror war, majors, colonels and generals have also been killed”.

    I agree with you.
    And so have countless others from inocent children to prime ministerial candidates.

    Each on of those who shed their blood; whether in or out of uniform, who died for the ideal of a free constitutionally run and independant Pakistan were martyrs and should not be forgotten.

    More importantly it is for those who are living to see that they have not died in vain.

    Any breech of this ideal is a breech of Pakistani sovereignity.
    It is unimportant whether this breech is by by someone using a drone attack or an AK-47 to terrorise its people.
    Such a breech should be equally condemned by all segments of its society.

    Only the constitutionaly elected government of Pakistan and its security forces have the right to use force in its territory.

    Once this is accepted by all Pakistanis; only then can the nation truely emerge to live up to the hopes and dreams of its founders.

    Only then can it truely honor those martyrs who have shed their blood.

    Fighting for or standing up for anything less than this ideal is nothing but petty tribal warfare.

  3. Aamir Ali says:

    Its not just jawans who have sacrificed their lives in this terror war, majors, colonels and generals have also been killed.

    However that doesn’t matter to a particular breed of Pakistanis.

  4. Nostalgic says:


    First off, I meant no offense to the jawans and the officers engaged in the fighting, and laying down their lives for us… I certainly have no “contempt” for them… questioning the army top brass’ past, its dalliance with the mullahs and its double games during the last few years for which plenty of evidence exists, does not qualify as

  5. Jauhar says:


    I don’t believe there is any sane Pakistani who has contempt for the Jawans and the officers that are spilling their blood for the sake of Pakistan. I have the honor of knowing a few and without question they are fighting the most dreadful enemy one can imagine – people who take pride in beheading fellow muslims.

    Having said that, a lot of this mess was created by the army’s top command in pursuit of Afghan Jihad, the illusion of “Strategic depth” against India and to wage proxy wars using extremist forces as the weapon of choice. Muaharraf continued to play this double game until the very end – only targeting the “bad taliban” while giving a free pass to the presumed “good” ones.

    The political forces who ruled NWFP in the last 5 years (MMA) deserves an equal amount of blame. They did not object to the rising tide of Talibinization because they are mostly sympathetic to the cause of extremisms. I have not seen a single member of the former MMA leadership condemn any of the atrocities perpetrated in Swat yet they are first ones to rally public opinion against attacks in Gaza. According to them, the solution to the present crisis is to put forces out of Swat and Fata (to give a free rein to militants).

    One can only hope that Pakistan army will finally manage to destroy the likes of Moulana Fazalluah and for that it deserves all the support that it can get but when we pick up the pieces afterwards, we should not shy away from asking tough questions including the role of our security apparatus that created this menace in the first place.

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