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The effervescent and stunning natural beauty of Swat has a lot to offer in terms of picturesque and striking exquisiteness that takes the viewer’s breath away. But over the course of previous five years, this beautiful paradise on earth has seen nothing but killings, bloodshed, insurgency, and destruction at the hands of people who claim to be the saviors of this land.
There was a time when this magnificent tourist spot was a glory of the nation and succeeded in attracting a multitude of tourists, both national and foreign. The region was an epitome of the celebrated tourism that Pakistan had to offer; what with lovely lakes, mammoth mountains and hospitable inhabitants. Though the lakes and mountains are still intact, the locales became refugees in their own country and had to be displaced to other cities because of the Swat military operation of 2007.
Because of this operation, the country saw a huge number of Internally Displaced Persons or most commonly known as IDP’s, seeking refuge in the capital and other cities.The terrorist insurgency in Swat was the reason why the military operation was carried out and to this day, many inhabitants of that region are still waiting for the glorious day to return when they can go back to their
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own land and proclaim their right to what was theirs to begin with. It came as a shock that beautiful and peaceful places like Kalam or the Swat valley had gone into the hands of the militants and the nation was deprived of their right to bask in the glory of this beautiful region every year; as was the tradition of most Pakistanis to head north during summers.
What the military succeeded in retaining from the gruesome clutches of the militants was destroyed or more precisely washed away by last year’s floods as nature wreaked havoc throughout Pakistan and Swat also saw major damage to its infrastructure, agriculture and architecture. Destruction was on a massive scale, and to this day, the entire nation is trying to come to terms with this natural calamity that washed away a major chunk of our land.But five years down the lane, all hope is not lost. 2011 started with the military trying to regenerate tourism once again in Swat and for that they arranged a Swat Festival which aimed at bringing people from all over Pakistan as well as abroad to the magical valley of Swat.
The festival ran over the course of 52 days and incorporated hope and optimism once again in the natives of the region. With activities from paragliding to hand gliding to sky diving to white river rafting; all activities say an array of participants reaching out to commemorate the event with the zeal and zest of a native Swat-ian.Therefore, hope is returning to the valley and the magic of the land is coming back to normalcy. One can only hope that just like Swat, the entire Pakistan can be rid of the menace of militants and extremists and this terrorist insurgency comes to an end to bring remarkable peace to the entire country.
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Keeping the spirit of the native Swat people in mind, the entire nation should get together and exterminate the menace of terrorism.