Pakistani Army Opens Base in Swat

UNIPATH STAFF

The Pakistani Army is setting up a permanent base in the Swat Valley, an area in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that has experienced violence stemming from terrorism and extremism, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced in early 2014.

The Swat Valley drew international attention when a Taliban extremist shot young Malala Yousafzai in the head in October 2012 for promoting female education. Malala recovered and has become an advocate for ending violence through education.

Taliban elements led by cleric Maulana Fazlullah took control of the district in 2007, waging a brutal campaign on the people that included public beheadings. In 2009, Pakistan’s Army declared that it had regained control of the area. More than 20,000 Pakistani troops have remained in and around Swat; however, extremist attacks have continued. Sharif described the new military base as “a brigade-level cantonment” for Swat and the adjacent Malakand areas.

Sources: Agence France-Presse, Dawn