Home Special Reports The frontline victims of the war on terror

The frontline victims of the war on terror

October 16th, 2008 by Mudassar Shah

The Federally Administered Tribal Areas or FATA of Pakistan have been described by the United States as the world’s ‘terrorism central’. It’s a region that has been willfully neglected by Pakistan rulers. The area has its own legal system and doesn’t take part in national elections. FATA is now almost entirely controlled by the Pakistani Taliban militias. Our Correspondent Mudassar Shah is from this rugged region and provides a rare insight into life on the frontline.

The Taliban’s Ongoing War on Education in Swat

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Last week we, heard a report from the Swat valley in Pakistan where the Taliban have banned girl’s schools.

Earlier this month they threatened to begin destroying schools if they weren’t closed by January 15.

Most schools followed the orders, but to reinforce their point the Taliban have bombed 10 schools in the last week.

Fortunately no one was killed or injured in the blasts, but the audacity of the attacks and the government’s apparent helplessness has deeply traumatized the valley.

Mudassar Shah returned to Swat this week for Asia Calling and he filed this report.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 September 2009 10:37 )

Girls’ Schools Banned in Swat

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Militancy, extremism and attacks are on rise in Pakistan, particularly in the lawless North West Frontier Province where a Taliban led insurgency is invading every aspect of life.

Among the Taliban’s targets are girl’s schools. Three were recently attacked in the capital Peshawar and in the new year Mullah Radio station, Fazlullah announced a complete ban on girls’ schools in Swat beginning January 15.

Our correspondent Mudassar Shah visited Swat to speak with people about the closure of schools there and the effect the Taliban is having on life in the beautiful city.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 September 2009 10:35 )

Shariah Courts Popular in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province

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One of the most interesting results in Pakistan’s general election last February was the victory of the secularist parties in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) after six years of an Islamist government.

In a province where the Taliban has made heavy inroads, the vote for the ANP and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) seems to herald a turn toward some form of secularist democracy.

It’s only been three months, but the secularists seem to be backsliding.

The secular parties have agreed to allow qazi Islamic courts to operate in the mountainous region near Afghanistan.

Qazi courts have a judge who hears cases and quickly hands down decisions based on his interpretation of Sharia law.

Mudassar Shah reports on why this form of justice is increasingly popular.

Last Updated ( Friday, 05 June 2009 11:35 )

Bombs Destroy Government-run Girls’ High Schools in Pakistan

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Taliban Militants have destroyed more than 30 schools in the Swat Valley of Pakistan in the past month. That’s according to the provinces Ministry of Education.

The region is home to radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah, who has called girls’ schools un-Islamic.

Hundreds of girls' schools have shut their doors and thousands of girls’ students have already quit schools.

Mudassar Shah reports from one school in the Swat Valley that has just been bombed.

Last Updated ( Monday, 20 July 2009 18:41 )

Displaced by war on terror

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Pakistan’s military says it has suspended its operations against Taliban militants in the Bajaur tribal area on the Afghan border.

The government says this suspension of fighting is in honour of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The announcement comes as a small relief to the hundreds of thousand of people who have already been displaced by the intense fighting.

Mudassar Shah reports from the temporary camps set-up to house them.

Last Updated ( Monday, 20 July 2009 18:43 )