Incensed by the attack on teenage child activist Malal Yousafzai, a local jirga has declared war on Taliban until the elimination of militancy from the picturesque valley.
The valley wriggled out of the clutches of Taliban following the 2009 military operation against notorious militant commander Mullah Fazlullah aka Mullah Radio who claimed responsibility for the attack on Malala.
“The attack on Malala Yousafzai and other girls was a cowardly act which should be condemned on every platform,” Saifullah Khan, the chairperson of the Nepkikhel Aman Jirga, told a news conference at Swat Press Club on Saturday.
“The attack shows that even children are not safe from the evils of terrorists. But we clearly extend our message to anti-Pakistan elements that such cowardly acts will not deter us from fighting against terrorism,” he said.
Khan added that the Nepkikhel Aman Jirga had stood firm in the battle against terrorism. “We invite the entire nation to stand with us against terrorists. We have made countless sacrifices for the restoration of peace and we are ready to render more for maintaining peace in our region,” he said.
Criticising the attack on schoolchildren, Khan said if the Taliban were bold enough, they should dare to come out of their hiding holes and fight.
“It is not bravery to attack innocent children. They are only defaming Islam, Pakistan and our nation in the name of their own version of Islam,” he said.
Khan said it was the responsibility of the entire nation to stand by them and keep a vigilant eye on extremist elements and inform the authorities accordingly.
“Maintaining peace in Swat is our collective responsibility and we will fight to our last breath for peace. We also demand the government arrest Malala’s attackers and award them exemplary punishment,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2012.