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Huge anti-terror rally held in Pakistan’s Swat region

The massive rally in progress

Hundreds of people took to the streets in the Swat region in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Friday demanding the government take decisive action against terrorists.

According to the Dawn newspaper, the demonstrators gathered at Matta Chowk in the Khwazakhela tehsil of Swat on Friday.

This is the sixth protest by the locals since the resurfacing of terror activities in August, the Dawn report states, indicating the extent of uncertainty and unrest in the region.

The protest was jointly organised by two local organisations — Swat Olasi Pasoon and Swat Quami Jirga. A large number of people, including the youth and elders, with leaders of different political parties except former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ( PTI) party, participated in the protest.

The protesters said they would no longer tolerate terror activities as well as the presence of terrorists in the valley. They also called out the government for allegedly blocking the internet in most parts of Swat.

The participants shouted slogans against terrorists and said they would challenge threats to peace in the region.

They also complained about the suspension of internet service in major parts of Swat.

Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party leader Sher Bahadar said Swat residents were peace-loving people and would never tolerate the resurgence of terrorist groups on their soil. He said students had suffered since the Internet service was suspended lately.

Swat Qaumi Jirga member Sher Shah Khan said the people of Swat won’t allow terrorists to regroup in the region and would continue with their peace efforts.

Speaker Amjad said the law-enforcement agencies should vacate all educational institutions in Swat to facilitate the youth’s access to formal education.

Vice-president of the Swat Traders Federation Khalid Mehmood said Swat residents won’t leave the area if terrorists carried out activities.

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