Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Letter She Wrote

An MBA student trapped in the Swat writes to the BBC. She speaks of the struggles, the abandonment by the government and a pact (that many talk about) between the intelligence services and the militant forces.
Tor_Khan تور خان

I am still in Swat. I will not leave my homeland because of the Taleban and I'll fight against them with every possible means.

Our communication system is not working. My phone hasn't been working for many days, it only gets a signal occasionally. There is no electricity and we are using a generator. We have a limited supply of oil to run it, running it for half an hour every 24 hours to charge the laptop and the phones. I am writing this in a hurry.

Most of the people in our town and surrounding villages have left. The ones who have remained want to leave, but most have no money for transport. I know that people in refugee camps live in bad conditions, but the government and international donors are ignoring those remaining in Swat.

People are hungry. Because of the curfew there is a shortage of food. We are running out of stored food items. But we are at risk every time we go out as we might be targeted by the Taleban or the army.

There are many Taleban commanders in my village. Their intelligence is so good, they know what we discuss in our homes. Six days ago one of my relatives was slaughtered. His dead body was left on the road for four days and nobody handed it over to his parents.

I know who the local Taleban are. I know them personally. Some of them are my distant relatives. A friend of mine works for the police here and he knows them too, but he can't do anything. The ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] targeted and destroyed the police force structure, clearing ground for Taleban activities.

In the past, when people have come forward with the details of Taleban they know, they have been betrayed. Everybody here is against the Taleban. But for me there is a big question mark over the dedication of the Pakistani army. The Taleban have their own FM radio station. How come they can be traced by foreign media to give interviews, but they can't be traced and killed by the army? Mingora is under Taleban control.

What is the army doing about it?

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