Good fortune has returned to Swat and people are once again living a peaceful and normal life. However, long-term peace will only be achieved when terrorists in Afghanistan and the tribal belt are completely eliminated.
These views were expressed by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister (CM) Amir Haider Hoti during a day-long visit to Swat, where he announced a development package for the valley at a large gathering at Grassy Ground.
The CM laid the foundation stone of Excelsior College and Sangota Public School, which were destroyed by militants in 2008. He said the government is ready for accountability as it has been sincere to the people. He also announced various new projects for Swat, including construction of new schools, bridges, hydel power projects, grid stations and hospitals.
Over 2,400 police officials were deployed to ensure foolproof security on the occasion, while the Saidu Sharif-Mingora Road was closed for traffic. Addressing the gathering, Information Minister Iftikhar Hussain said the militants had called democracy a system of infidels at this venue two years back.
“They had set up a parallel government but today militants have been practically routed from Swat which is a huge achievement for democracy,” he remarked.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 27th, 2011.
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