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First Battle of Swat

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Swat, Switzerland of Pakistan, is one of the beautiful destinations in Pakistan. It is a river valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan and the languages spoken here are Pashtu, Kohistani, Gojri, and Torwali. The area has high mountains and beautiful lakes which make it one of the best tourist places in the country. This beautiful place became dreadful when Taliban-led forces took control on it and life of people became miserable here.

Pak Army did his best to retain the control on the district and fought two battles against the brutal force of the Taliban. The first battle of Swat was started in October, 25 2007 given a name as “Operation Rah-e-Haq’. It can be divided into the following three phases:

First Phase:

Taliban had occupied the district of Swat and imposed their own Sharia Law there in which women were forbidden to go out for education, death penalties for music shop owners and barbers, and there were many others laws the Taliban had imposed. Around 3,000 soldiers of Pak Army were sent to swat on 24 October, 2007 to fight with the militants. The fight was started just after one day the troops were sent with a suicide attack on a paramilitary force in which 30 people were killed including 17 soldiers and 13 civilians. The Taliban were successful to have their control on Tehsil Kabal, Khawazkhela, and Matta in this phase as the troops and police both were unsuccessful to handle them.

Second Phase:

Shangla-Map

This second phase is also called as “Battle of Shangla”. In this phase, 5000 soldiers from 12th Regular Army were sent to help 15,000 soldiers and police officers who were already fighting with the Taliban. This was an offensive phase from Pakistani Army and they surpassed Swat and moved towards Shangla. By November 25, The Army had strong position and the militants had left Alpuri(the capital of Shangla District) and taken positions on mountaintops. In the end of this phase, Army had taken control on Shangla and the fight has moved towards Swat District.

Third Phase:

After rescuing Shangla, the next target was Swat district including areas like Matta, Charbagh, Khwazakhela, and others were still under the control of insurgents. Since the Army had got strong position and was quite offensive, the Taliban dispersed here and there and all the radio channels and communication between Taliban were closed down by the government. Till november 28, the militants had moved into nearby forests and the Army had taken control on areas like Imam Dehri (the native village of Maulana Fazullah), Alpuri, Matta, Madyan, Khwazakhela, and others.

Aftermaths:

There were many operations Pak Amy launched against the militants and the “Operation Rah-e-Haq-II” and “Operation Sherdill” in Bajaur Agency are included. In these operation, the Army also took help of Air Force and they two forces together took part in the operations.

In January 2009, the operation “Rah-e-Haq-III” was also launched when TTP backed out from its promises of ceasefire and reintroduced their Shariah in Swat and Malakand and by the end of February 2009, Taliban had regained their control on the most of the parts of the district of Swat.