People in Swat celebrate 'bitter-sweet' Eid amid fears of Taliban resurgence

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Washington, Sep.25 (ANI): Residents in the war ravaged picturesque Swat Valley celebrated Id-ul-fitr with great fervor after a long time this year, but people here still fear that the Taliban could return to take revenge after being forced to retreat by the Army.

Two months after the army declared that region safe enough for the people to return, the Valley still looks like a war zone, The Washington Post reports.

The atmosphere of the first post-Taliban Id-ul-fitr was a mix of muted celebration, religious contemplation and re-emerging commercial freedom. Many shops remained closed, but Indian movie posters were back up on the walls, and young men browsed through racks of pop-music CDs, the report added.

There is no doubt that the fear quotient has subsided, but it also can not be denied that the fear remains.

"There is less fear now, but people are still worried the Taliban will come back, so they don't feel completely free," said Shah Ziaul Haq, a shop owner whose brother was killed during the military operation.

The concerns are genuine as the government has failed to win people's hearts following the war against the extremists. Swat residents believe that their government is too weak to prevent Taliban's backlash, the report says.

"Everything is confused. Some mosques announced it was Eid yesterday, but others said we should still fast. It is because the government is too weak. We need to have one Eid to unify the country," the report quoted Noor Rehman, a butcher in Batkhela, as saying. (ANI)

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