Pakistan army hands over administrative control of Swat to civil authorities
KP CM Mehmood Khan appreciates Pakistan army for their successful struggle against terrorism
PESHAWAR (Dunya News) – Following a decade-long struggle for restoration of peace in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s troubled district of Swat, Pakistan army has handed over the administrative control of the district to the civil sauthorities, ending its decade-long military operation to flush out the militants and restore peace in the home town of Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousafzai.
The army was first sent to the picturesque Swat district of the Khyber-Pakthunkhwa province in 2007 when Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Maulana Fazlullah challenged the writ of the state and set up his Sharia courts.
Taliban while launching an organised movement and extending its network to the adjoining districts had imposed several restrictions, including banning girls education, making mandatory wearing of burqa for women and keeping beard for men, among others.
In 2009, the government launched a major military operation against the TTP, during a large number of people were forced to abandon their homes in Swat, Buner and other districts.
The army handed over the symbol of authority to the Commissioner, Malakand Division and Regional Police Officer (RPO) at a ceremony, which was attended by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mehmood Khan, Corps Commander Peshawar, Lieutenant General Nazir Ahmed Bhut, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Salahuddin, General-Officer-in-Command Swat Major General Khalid Saeed.
The elders’ of the area and other civil and military officers also attended the function, during which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of administrative authority was handed over the KP CM.
Speaking on the occasion, KP CM Mehmood Khan appreciated Pakistan army for their successful struggle against terrorism and extremism for the restoration of peace in Swat, adding it had made history by transferring of powers to the civil administration.
In past, he maintained, there was complete darkness when terrorists wrecked havoc with the lives of innocent people and added he was himself an eye witness of those barbaric acts.
He recalled that terrorists did not spare the educational institutions and their buildings were destroyed. But these cowardly acts of the terrorism, the chief minister said, could not deter the resilient people of Swat and added that the Pak army, police force and other law enforcement forces completely defeated these elements and achieved lasting peace.
He said that Pak army actively took part in social welfare activities in the area and won hearts and minds of people and also lauded the civil administration, saying it had been successfully and efficiently handling the affairs of the district. “Several social welfare projects had been launched which would be timely completed,” the KP CM said and reiterated that police and civil administration would make concerted efforts for the development of the district.
In his address on the occasion Corps Commander Peshawar Nazir Ahmed Bhut said people of Swat witnessed worst security situations and about 3.5 million people became homeless.
He said that Pakistan army completely eliminated the menace of terrorism from the area and in short span of four months, displaced people were resettled in their respective native areas.
Bhut said went on to say that people of Swat faced curse of terrorism bravely and courageously, adding peace has returned and journey of the development was in progress in Swat, adding that from now on the basic responsibility of the district would rest with police and local administration while army would safeguard frontiers of the country.
The Corps Commander said: “Pak-Afghan border was being fenced to make it more secure. He said that terrorists from across the border were making unsuccessful attempts to create law and order situation.”
Addressing the gathering, Lt Gen Ahmed said that 3.5 million people were dislocated in Swat district when militants tried to take control of the administrative affairs of Swat district.
The army, he said, launched successful operations and eliminated terrorists in four month from the district and other areas of Malakand Division and rehabilitated the displaced people.