According to Pakistani media reports, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP militant group has captured Swat area of Malakand Division in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. They have also started building checkposts and militant camps there.
Swat area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is very important geographically and economically. It is possible to keep an eye on Islamabad and Lahore from this place near the Afghanistan border.
Notably, SWAT is called ‘Switzerland of Pakistan’. This hilly area was once one of the best travel destinations. And because of this tourism, the government of Pakistan used to earn a lot of money. That road is now completely closed as Swat is in the hands of TTP.
Incidentally, Pak Rangers arrested Imran Khan in the land scam case from Islamabad High Court premises last Tuesday. His party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf or PTI took to the streets to protest the former prime minister’s arrest. Starting from Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi, they ran riot in several cities.
Not only that, the house of the current Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif was attacked in Lahore. PTI supporters vandalized the Pak Army headquarters in Rawalpindi. They set fire to the house of a corps commander in Lahore
In this situation, the Pak Army came in to deal with the situation. Patrolling has started in several places including Punjab. Internet service has been shut down. Pakistan Army has also been seen fighting protesters along with Pak Rangers.
Experts claim that the TTP is exploiting this engagement of the army. They suddenly attacked and occupied the Swat area. A section of experts claimed that TTP has the full support of Afghanistan’s Taliban regime.
But this is not the first time that the Swat area has been lost by the Pakistan Army. TTP had occupied this area once before. Pakistan Army launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb (Operation Zarb-e-Azb) in 2014 to recapture the area. Which lasted for almost two years. In 2016, the Pakistani army was able to recapture that area. However, the influence of TTP militants has not completely disappeared.