The Swat We Knew

Posted on February 10, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Disasters, Society, Travel
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Adil Najam

Found this very interesting older PTV documentary on Swat (3 parts) from only a few years ago (maybe 3 or 4). Ordinarily it would not have been noteworthy. Slightly slow moving in typical PTV style. But view it today – knowing what is happening in Swat today – and tears swell up in your eyes and rage rises in you veins. This is the Swat that was. The Swat we knew. The Swat that is being destroyed.

Here are just a few highlights from the documentary that would have sounded mundane only a couple of years ago, but in light of today’s reality which seem like they were spoken in another life, another century.

Part III: “Miandam ki khaas baat yahan ka sakoon hai. Jitna sakoon, peace, tranquility mein nay Miandam may daikha hai shayed hi kaheen hou!” (“Miandam’s special trait is its tranquility. The amount of peace and tranquility that you see here, it is difficult to imagine anywhere else”).

Part I: “Mingora shehr kaafi ba-ronaq aur rawaN dawaN shehr hai. Yahan kay loug khush o khurram, friendly aur baRRay mehman nawaz haiN.” (“Mingora city is very lively and bustling with activity. People here are very happy, friendly and hospitable.”)

Part I: Note the description of the Swat Museum, including talk of the “priceless” treasures and also of art and sculpture.

Part II: Note the description of the giant Buddhas of Jehanabad; since defaced by the Taliban.

And just in case you have been on a different planet recently and missed what is happening in Swat today, here is a more recent documentary from Dawn TV:

29 responses to “The Swat We Knew”

  1. readinglord says:

    I say why Sharia is not enforced in the first place on F.Lullah so as to charge him with ‘Fassad-fil-Arz’? But it is perhaps too much to expect from an NRO (NO-rule-order) regime especially when their founding leader left the legacy of surrendering to the Mulla to save his ‘chair’ which he had declared to be very strong.

  2. Meengla says:

    Yes, it is indeed a shameful development to see that FATA/PATA (and even Swat) can be conceded to the Talibans. However, it is extremely unfair to blame PPP+ANP. Since this govt. came to power they actually escalated the military operations for which our ‘mainstream’ media and bloggers have roundly condemned these parties as ‘American Agents’.

    My understanding is that it has been conceded by the military high command itself that there should be some ‘political’ carrot offered in Swat and that carrot is the so called ‘Shariat’ in Swat. Let’s face it: If the military does not even allow the current President of Pakistan to enter the Kahuta Research Lab then it certainly cannot allow political parties freedom for ‘strategic’ policies. The Swat Shariat is offered with the Army’s approval, if not prodding.

    And, yes, the mess in Pakistan grew this dangerous while Musharraf was the all powerful Army Chief cum the President of Pakistan for many years. And as regrettable as this latest concession to the fundos in Swat is, I am quite certain that basically-fundamentalist leaders like Imran Khan, Qazi Hussein Ahmad and Nawaz Sharif would have ‘given’ Shariat to Swat months ago. Zardari is reported to have tried NOT to accede to those demands (it would be like ZAB caving into the Mulahs in the 70s) but has finally conceded to other ‘pillars of power’ in Pakistan.

    However, all is still not lost. This govt. may not be the most competent in Pakistan’s history but the PPP is certainly the least-Mullah-centric major party in Pakistan. If the Talibans take too much advantage of their new gains then the carrot will be withdrawn and sticks will start blowing down again.

    It is still a very sad day for Pakistan.

  3. Nostalgic says:

    I agree… atrocious deal done… the mullahs will simply use this to rearm, regroup and use Swat as a launching pad… this deal is simply shameful…

  4. Aamir Ali says:

    The ANP/PPP has conducted yet another peace deal with taliban and maulvis, to bring “Sharia” to Swat. Effectively the Constitution, courts and laws of Pakistan will be scuttled and a Sharia state will be created in Swat, with mullah as supreme.

    Well done ANP/PPP, media and other civilians ! You used to condemn Musharraf for being a dictator and “lait gaya” in front of Americans, and now the PPP/ANP and civilians have themselves “lait gaye” in front of terrorists and thrown the Constitution of Pakistan into the dustbin.

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