#PashtunLives Matter and #Swat have been gaining traction on microblogging site Twitter in wake of a school van being attacked in Swat on Monday and the people of restive district spontaneously rising against what has been termed a resurgence of the Taliban in the area in particular and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in general.
Both hashtags have been employed thousands of times by a myriad of users. Prominent among these were politicians of note active on the site who attempted to draw attention to the gravity of the situation.
National Democratic Movement (NDM) chairman Mohsin Dawar, in a biting tweet, said Pashtuns were being “thrown to the wolves again”. “The attack on a school van in Swat should serve as a wake up call for the state that appears to be losing its writ in Swat once again. The people of Swat have been protesting against terrorism but their voices are being ignored. Pashtuns are being thrown to the wolves again.”
Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) founder Manzoor Pashteen said Pashtun mothers did not raise children merely to fuel wars for dollars. He said it was abundantly clear that the Pashtun belt was being used once again. He said peace in Swat was being deliberately compromised.
Awami National Party (ANP) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa President Aimal Wali said the “silence” of the government was criminal. He said the party had been attempting to bring attention to the resurgence of terrorism since years.
Erstwhile Senator Afrasiab Khattak questioned if Pashtuns across both sides of the Durrand Line had lost protection and the Taliban had marked the tenth anniversary of an attack on Nobel laurate Malala Yousafzai. “Taliban attacked a school van in Swat killing the driver and injuring two students. Were Taliban celebrating the 10th anniversary of their attack on #Malala or is it the state sponsored re Talibanization of Pakhtunkhwa? Have Pakhtuns lost state protection on both sides of DL?
Former MNA Bushra Gohar said the armed forces ought to explain how “terrorists” had managed to stage a comeback in what had been termed “cleared areas”. She said the provincial Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had facilitated a Taliban “resurgence”. “#PashtunsThrownToTheWolves #TTPTI #PuppetGovernment facilitated the resurgence of Taliban terrorists & allowed them to form Shadow Govt in #Pakhtunkhwa & Federal Govt is following #AllIsWell policy-@OfficialDGISPR needs to explain terrorists return to so called cleared areas.”
Former Communications Minister Murad Saeed of the PTI questioned what shift policy had undergone that the nation had resolved to protest its young after the Peshawar APS Massacre but children lay bloodied before it and all one could do was turn a blind eye.