Militancy bruises Swat tour again in NW Pakistan

10:44, June 17, 2010      

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By Syed Moazzam Hashmi

At least three militants were killed in a clash with Pakistani security forces Wednesday in Charbagh area of Swat, as the scenic valley in the restive northwest Pakistan was bruised again.

The declining situation in Swat forced Amir Ali, a businessman based in the southern port city of Karachi, to reconsider a vacation trip to the valley, once ruined by militancy during the past years.

"I thought the peace which was successfully restored last year has normalized life there," Ali told Xinhua Wednesday while sipping his morning tea, as he called the travel agent to cancel his family trip to Kalam and Ski resort in Malam Jabba in Swat, 250 kilometer from the capital city Islamabad.

Local analysts believe that the ashes of an almost seven years old insurgency by militants in the northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, is still holding some sparks of violence that had displaced 2.2 million valley residents.

The sporadic incidents of the kind seem to have dampened hopes of the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), which is flexing to resume a tourist filled summer after an impasse of several years.

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