Journalists need to help Swat

Writing stories on the hidden treasures of the valley could give life to Swat’s moribund tourism industry.

Fazal Khaliq December 06, 2010
All reporters and journalists should join hands together to help rebuild Swat Valley and restore it to its previous glory.

Known as the Switzerland of Asia, the region was, it seems, deliberately pushed into the hands of extremists who were not only financially nurtured but also backed, many say, by the powers that be. There is considerable evidence of this, especially in how Mullah Fazlullah, then head of the Swat Taliban, was allowed to air his venomous broadcasts to the people of the valley for many months.

I would request all my colleagues and other patriotic reporters of my country to write at least one article or feature for the rehabilitation and restoration of tourism in Swat.

I would request my respected friends in the media to spare a thought — or two — for the people of Swat Valley because this could help rebuild perhaps one of the region’s most precious – and urgently needed — resource: schools. And I am saying this because apart from promises and pledges by the government nothing else has happened on this front.

Similarly, stories on the hidden treasures of the valley could help in breathing much-needed life into Swat’s moribund tourism industry.

At the very least, they may motivate local tourists to again visit the valley, as many did in the past, before the Taliban took it over in 2009. I would request television channels to hold live shows in, say, Kalam, which could help attract the rest of Pakistan to the physical and natural beauty of the district.

Swat has a rich history and this should also be brought to the fore again so that the people today become aware of their past.

In this, as well, the media can play a major role by writing stories that highlight this issue. Of course, this is only one aspect for the region’s revival – a lot has to be done by the people of Swat themselves, but as a journalist I think there is something that I can do as well.

Fazal Khaliq
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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