Islamabad, May 12 (ANI): The military offensive in Swat, Operation Rah-e-Rast, which completed a year recently, has the Taliban on the run, but the recent wave of target killings aimed at some important figures of civil society, has again spread fears among the people about the return of the militants.
Commenting on the effectiveness of the offensive, Mukhtar Yousafzai, head of the independent Swat qaumi jirga, said: “In Swat, it was the state agencies that groomed, promoted and protected the terrorists. Swat thus became a paradise turned into hell. But the brave people of Swat did not surrender.”
“They spread out … organised demonstrations, appealing to the civil society. Owing to the efforts of the people of Swat, the army decided to launch a third offensive against the Taliban.” He said the two phases of the offensive before Operation Rah-e-Rast were “merely war games”.
Asked to elaborate Yousafzai’s statement on credibility, another jirga member said, “The Taliban are on the run, their strongholds have been dismantled to a great extent, their leadership and network stand afflicted with remarkable harm and they are now isolated.”
However, he said he is extremely worried about the recent wave of target killings that have targeted some important figures of civil society, such as members of the Swat qaumi jirga and other peace committees, the Daily Times reports.
“The peace in Swat is too fragile to rely on … it is suspicious and vulnerable. The blowing up of CD shops and the circulation of threatening letters by the Taliban have again frightened the people, who consider these latest developments as the beginning of a new rising in the valley,” he says.
An internationally recognised researcher on Swat, Dr Sultan-e-Rome said of the operation, “A failure … the fresh wave of target killings right under the nose of the army is a testament … [the decision to] force civilians to form lashkars and be their own watchmen during the night, an increase in the number of army posts and frequent checking and curfews are other testaments.”
Ihsanul Haq Haqqani, a senior journalist from Swat, aptly says, “No doubt, the operation was a success, but the post-operation policy is enough to convert the success into a horrible failure.” (ANI)