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Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Sunday, 17 May 2009 11:47 UK

Struggling for survival in Swat

Taleban militants in Pakistan

The fighting in the Swat valley between the Pakistani army and Taleban militants has almost completely destroyed the communications network and links with the rest of the country.

Tens of thousands of people have fled the area, but there are some who have not been able to escape.

One female student in the town of Saidu Sharif has managed to send e-mails to the BBC News website describing the struggle to survive.


I am still in Swat and I will die here. I will not leave my homeland because of the Taleban and I'll fight against them with every possible means.

Our communication system is not working. My phone hasn't been working for many days, it only gets a signal occasionally, especially when the curfew is removed.

There is no electricity and we are using a generator but we have a limited supply of oil to run it. We are only using it for half an hour every 24 hours to charge the laptop and the phones. I am writing this in a hurry.

Most of the people in our town and surrounding villages have left. The ones who have remained want to leave, but most have no money for transport.

Everybody here is against the Taleban. But for me there is a big question mark over the dedication of the Pakistani army

Pregnant women and sick people, who can't walk, have been left behind. In the whole of Swat there is not a single lady doctor. Even a male doctor is hard to find, as they have left.

I know that people in refugee camps in Pakistan live in bad conditions, but the government and international donors are ignoring those remaining in Swat.


Food shortages

People are hungry. Because of the curfew there is a shortage of food. We are running out of stored food items. But we are at risk every time we go out as we might be targeted by the Taleban or the army.

There are many Taleban commanders in my village. Their intelligence is so good, they know what we discuss in our homes.

Six days ago one of my relatives was slaughtered in Mingora city. His dead body was left on the road for four days and nobody handed it over to his parents.

A militant group from a nearby village, all of them young boys, used to come to our girls' college to intimidate the girls. They were checking the faces of girls and were saying things like "I love you" and similar nonsense. One day this group tortured a female school teacher.

I wanted to complete an MBA course. Now the colleges are closed, schools are destroyed, education is impossible. Women can't even go out on the streets any more.

I know who the local Taleban are. I know them personally. Some of them are my distant relatives. A friend of mine works for the police here and he knows them too, but he can't do anything. The ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] targeted and destroyed the police force structure, clearing ground for Taleban activities.

In the past, when people have come forward with the details of Taleban they know, they have been betrayed.

So I don't know who we can trust with that information now.

Everybody here is against the Taleban. But for me there is a big question mark over the dedication of the Pakistani army.

The Taleban have their own FM radio station. How come they can be traced by foreign media to give interviews, but they can't be traced and killed by the Pakistani army?

Mingora city is under Taleban control. What is the army doing about it?




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