NWFP under a cloud!

News emanating from Peshawar are that three suspected millitants were killed by a bomb that went off while the millitants supposedly were preparing to cause some destruction, early this morning. Before the incident, a powerufl bomb went off blowing a nearby CD shop besides damaging a few more.
News like such have almost beocme a routine in or around the provicial capital of NWFP courtesy the escalating fight between suspected millitants and the Pak Army in almost every corner of the frontier. The erstwhile peaceful city of Peshawar is feeling the brunt of the millitray operations launched to wipe out millitancy in South Waziristan and Swat. Its not long when a sucide bomber took the lives of almost 18 people along with his own when he blew himself amid a Muharram procession. The incident was grave enough to cast a spell of grief over the people of Peshawar for some days to come. Lately I’ve heard about some rockets being fired into Hayatabad, a modern residential area of the city which is not far away from Darra Adam Khel, a rather new operational ground to fight the millitants.
Discussing the legitimacy of using force to achieve the required results on part of the Pakistan Army or millitants for that matter, is another issue altogether but what I want to express here is my deep concern for the masses which are affected by the ongoing war in more than one way.
The operation in Swat, for instance has been devastating for the people of the valley once known as the Switzerland of Pakistan. The paradize on earth is burning in the hell fire causing to suffer thousands of innocent people inhabiting the area. Indescriminate firings and bombings from both the sides have taken hundreds of innocent lives. How can I forget the story of a moliv sahib, who happens to be a prayer leader in a mosque in our surroundings. Hailing from Khwaza Khela, a locality severly hit by the operation the moliv sahib left his home for Mardan and somewhere near the bus stand in Mingora he was ordered to stop by one of the Pak Army jawans, for every bearded man now a days in Swat is regarded to be a terrorist. He was searched, insulted, abused and warned not to be seen wandering over there again. Shortly after the incident another man was shot dead who didn’t respond to the army men’s shouts of stoppage and who was later recognized by the locals as an insane.
Mardan, the second largest populous city of the NWFP is also showing affects of the war on millitancy in Swat. The city is filled to the full by the migrating sufferers from Swat besides it is witnessing sporadic incidents of millitancy here and there. The PRC market popular for its video CD shops adjacent to the Army training center has twice been blown by the suspected millitants. A cable operating office was bombed on the day of Eid ul Adha when we heard those resounding explosions.
Similarly Kohat, Dera Ismael Khan and Karak are enveloped by gloom and disaster.
People residing the ‘under operation’ areas are fleeing to the settled areas, resultantly settled areas are feeling the heat too. The flames of war, it seems are englufing whole of the frontier. Negotiations ought to be contemplated before it beocmes too late. Peace is the need of the moment otherwise it will become impossible, a national integration.


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