My friend Leo was talking to me about Swat the other day, though I can’t remember what he was saying exactly. We read the Wikipedia article for a while. If you don’t want to read it here’s the summary:
Swat (Pashto/Urdu: سوات) is a valley and an administrative district in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan located 160 km/100 miles from Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. The capital of Swat is Saidu Sharif, but the main town in the Swat valley is Mingora. It was a princely state (see State of Swat) in the NWFP until it was dissolved in 1969. With high mountains, green meadows, and clear lakes, it is a place of great natural beauty that used to be popular with tourists as “the Switzerland of Pakistan”.. In December 2008 most of the area was captured by the Taliban insurgency and is now too dangerous for tourism. Islamist militant leader Maulana Fazlullah and his group Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi have banned education for girls and have bombed or torched “more than 170 schools … along with other government-owned buildings.”
Then I saw this today on my reader.
Two more schools blown up in Swat Tuesday, 27 Jan, MINGORA: Two more government-run schools were blown up in Swat valley despite curfew and shoot on sight orders by the government while indefinite curfew was slapped in Mingora city on Tuesday. A group of about 30 to 35 militants armed with heavy and sophisticated weapons entered the general bus stand in the heart of Mingora city and petrol the area for several hours. There were rumours that militants captured the Mingora bus stand but the ISPR spokesman denied the report. (Posted @ 22:18 PST)
Also, it’s totally beautiful:
This post has no point at all. Just, um, Swat is worth keeping an eye on.