How to respond to the video from Swat?

How to respond to the video from Swat? invites its readers to debate current affairs in this forum.

By now, most Pakistanis have seen the video of a teenaged girl being flogged by Taliban militants in Swat. The footage, captured on a mobile phone, has angered the nation and provoked condemnation and calls for inquiries among government circles.

That said, there are some elements, such as a leader of the Awami National Party, who claim the video release is aimed at undermining the Swat peace-for-Sharia deal. Others point out that flogging is a common punishment in the Swat Valley these days, and that the government knew this before agreeing to negotiate with militants based there.

How do you think the government should respond to this video’s circulation? What should be done about other men and women in the valley who have faced similar punishment? Should a video like this be cause for abandoning the peace-for-Sharia deal brokered with the TNSM?


Comments Guide: encourages its readers to share their views on our forums. We try to accommodate all users' comments but this is not always possible due to space and other constraints. Please our read our comments guidelines below for more information:

1. Please be aware that the views of our bloggers and commenters do not necessarily reflect's policies.

2. Though comments appear to have been published immediately after posting, they are actually forwarded to a moderation queue before publication.

3. Dawn reserves the right to remove or edit comments that are posted on this blog.

4. Language that is offensive to any race, religion, ethnicity, gender or nationality is not permitted.

5. Avoid posting comments in ALL CAPS. Commenters are also encouraged to avoid text contractions like 'u r.'

6. Do not cross-post comments across multiple blog entries.

7. Any comments posted to a blog entry should be relevant to the topic or discussion.

8. Do not spam the comment section.

122 Responses to “How to respond to the video from Swat?”

  1. Gopal, India says:


    Latif khan said: …”…this kond of punishment must be admonistrered by at least 100 pious people (whose credibility is proven) after the varification of four witnesses. In modern term, a DNA test may be used to provide full proof of any wrong doing.”


    HUH?!! So if this girl had indeed done a bit of flirtation with some guy (a result of hormones that allah himself decided was good for our natural evolution), then this punishment would be fully justified ?!! I’m Speechless.

  2. Gopa, India says:

    About the swat flogging vid … all the report basically said was “everyone denied knowledge of it .. so it must be a fake”. How convenient !! Are you Pakistani’s really buying that argument ?!

  3. safosh says:


    Expressindia » Story
    Swat girl flogging video ‘fake': Pak probe team

    Posted: Apr 19, 2009 at 1400 hrs IST

    Islamabad A five-member team probing the public “flogging” of a teenage girl by the Taliban in Pakistan’s troubled Swat valley has concluded that the video footage of the alleged incident which sent shock waves across the country was “fake”. The probe team, formed after the Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar M Chaudhry took suo motu notice of the issue, has “completed its investigation and handed over a report to me,” federal Interior Secretary Kamal Shah was quoted as saying by ‘Dawn’ newspaper. The video footage, which surfaced two weeks ago, was “false and fake,” he said at Saidu Sharief in Swat, citing the probe report. He insisted that no such incident had taken place. Pakistani political leaders and rights activists had condemned the “flogging” of Chand Bibi after the emergence of the shocking two-minute mobile phone video, which showed the 17-year-old burqa-clad girl being held face down on the ground by three men while a fourth whipped her repeatedly. A large crowd of men watched the flogging, which reportedly occurred in the Matta area of Swat some weeks ago after the girl was allegedly seen with a man other than her husband.

    Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had ordered an inquiry into the matter and Chief Justice Chaudhry sought fortnightly reports from the government on its inquiry. The report of the probe team, headed by a senior police official, will be handed over to an eight-member bench of the apex court, Shah said. The team and the judge of an Islamic court had recorded the statements of Chand Bibi and her husband, and they had both denied the incident. Shah said he had visited the area in compliance with the directives of the apex court, which had asked him to go to Swat to inquire about the incident. “The people of the area have also expressed ignorance about the incident,” he was quoted as saying by the paper.

  4. Pervez Khan says:

    Quaids Pakistan is dead. Those who opposed him are undoing what he made. Ulemas, Mullahs and their militant arm, the Talibans want to turn whatever is left into another Afghanistan. Pakistan ka matlab kia .. La ilaha illallah is the most misleading “Nara” of the religious right. Most of the other Muslims laugh when they hear this self delusionary rant. Islam did not come to be enclosed in Pakistan.

  5. Sameera says:

    When Long march and lawyer movement was going on and later when government scumbled to peoples power – i had hoped we’ll have same response from whole nation and people will out come in numbers (like they did during the long march) and will protest against this barbarity in the name of Islam.

    All Political parties should have issued a joined statement against this barbaric act, but that didn’t happen. Although there was strong response from various small local non political organizations and “good” press is still continue to raise this issue but as a nation we had a duty to raise our voices loud and clear.

    Recently i watched few talk shows on local channels, where so called experts were claiming this flogging video was fake so this didn’t happen at all? It seems as a nation, like we always did in the past, we are still living in the state of denial!

    It supposed to be a wake up call for us but our response, as a nation has been appalling!

    Lets Welcome Americans to clear this mess we have created for ourselves since 80s!

  6. Azhar Hussain says:

    Our leaders are a bunch of cowards, period.
    Our Army has become a spineless institution. We as common Pakistanis need to rise up and fight these barbarians, NOW and TODAY, not TOMORROW OR LATER.Otherwise we are heading to becoming another God foresaken country like Afghanistan.

  7. imran khan says:

    A state which was formed for a religion was bound to be confused over involvement of religion in state governance. No wonder even after 60 years of independence Pakistan could not decide the structure of state (theocratic or democratic)

  8. Mir says:

    So quick to verbally denounce Taliban. So eager to parallel Islam with peace. So slow to physically stand up against Taliban. So afraid to reason with them, face to face.

  9. FASAN says:

    First of all,according to my knowledge no one of us have any prove that this video was shot in swat or not.Being nation we don’t feel that its our responsibility to search the truth first then publish it on media neither the public use to practise it nor the so called responsible media.We the nation herself destroying her country,and this is what we are.

  10. javed jaffri says:

    I keep on reading in your comments column that most pakistanis are averse to the Talibanization of pakistan and yet these same people are unwilling to stand up and fight these terrorists and be counted. Action speaks louder than words. When will you pakistanis wake up from your deep slumber, before it’s too late, and fight this menace of Taliban head-on? The longer you wait, the more this disease spreads in your body like cancer. The fate of your country in your hands. One day these Taliban men will knock on your door and ask for your women and daughters’ hand in marriage and if you refuse them, your women and daughters will be put to the sword. This is a real life scenario. Don’t want to believe, just look around your own country and see for yourselves. Who’s winning the war. Taliban in the Pashtun language literally means slaughter of women.

  11. Hassan says:

    It is unfortunate that the way some people are trying to exploit the name religion in Pakistan.

    First and foremost thing is that the state was never created to be a theocratic state where mullahism would fourish without any boundaries and norms.

    Secondly, in my view a lot of the the people in swat and other parts of North West Frontier province do not have a basic idea what religion is about. If you look at the history of Islam Prophet (PBUH) never used force to spread the message, even at the time of great victory Fatah e Mekkah he pardoned his worst enemies. What does that mean that Islam is a religion of tolerance and democracy. Secondly no Muslim can dare to be against the Islamic law but if you look at the historical facts it is the requirement for implementation of Shariah that the state must create an Islamic society what does it mean
    a) The state is responsible for safeguarding its people for providing shelter, food, medicine, education and all necessities of life and if after provision all the amenities of life if a Muslim commits a crime then it becomes punishable under shariah law.

    Even then there so many strict laws that govern the process that its really difficult to practice the law in full context.

    I would like to ask the so called islamists has bribery finished in Swat or has any one like Fazalullah and his father ever thought it is a sin in Shariah?? what to talk about adultery in food, improper way of business, no regards for the neighbours who will take responsibility for these factors of a common mans life.

    What about the jobs for people, how would a widow feed her children after the death of her husband does mullah fazalullah have any plan for such cases?

  12. Khan says:

    This ghastly act must be condemed especially for the reasons being put forward. Still there is some doubt if it happened here at all. Everyone in the NWFP, Swat and Afghanistan look the same. The terrain looks barren and dry not the lush green Swat. Some areas in Pakistan are backward but I cant ascribe such to my motherland especially when the information provided is rather sketchy with alot of lose ends. A proper inquiry must go into this and clear our name. The source of this video must be told to cooperate fully and under protection so we may get to the bottom of this. We have to be firm and show that regardless of where it occured, we are united and firm that this dispicable act cannot be dont in the name of Islam being truely contrary to its principles and those who have carried it out cannot claim any Islamic injunction on it. The motive behind the flogging that the reporter is providing is secular in nature and as everyone in those areas look the same whether secular or anyother. Anyone could have committed this act but I believe that even the most wretched mind would not do this onder the name of Islam

  13. Anwar Kureishi says:

    This video is a precursor to what’s going to happen in future. Its in our interest to eliminate Taliban and protect our territories.

  14. Dinesh says:

    Faz –I hope you will agree that life always gives us options & choices and it is our responsibility to pick the right ones.
    You wrote:
    By asking Pakistan to stop supporting Kashmir based militants USA is picking sides. While I do think Pakistan should stop supporting any elements causing chaos in India, the US should also ask India to stop meddling with Pakistani affairs in Balochistan. There is some meddling that both countries need to stop as neither country is a saint.
    Broadly I agree with the theme of your comment. My only question is: Is it in Pakistan’s interest to keep the terrorist training camps operational?
    You have mentioned Balochistan – for India Balochistan is your internal matter. We don’t say/demand that it should be separate country. It is your problem and you need to solve it. If you don’t solve it remains your problem. Period.
    And I don’t think any Indian or Indian establishment has any different view on this.
    In Srilanka there is serious conflict going on but India has restrained itself as it is their internal matter. We share common language/culture with Tamils in Srilank but that does not give us right to fight Srilankan forces. We lost one of our prime ministers due to meddling in affaires of others and hopefully our political class has learnt the lesson that such manipulations can only bring harm in long terms.
    I fully agree with your comment that none of country is saint – no body is. If someone hits a saint s/he would not hit back but we common people do that but fault remains with the causation and not with the response.
    I understand that your country is passing through tough times and we all are worried about it. Nobody in India is happy about the fact the Pakistan is facing so serious problems. Only your people can & need to think at solutions.
    In India before every festival we are concerned / cautious of bombs exploding in busy areas. And this has been happening for years now. For the new channels it looks that situation in Pakistan is even worse but I wish & hope that the things will improve in both the countries. India & Pakistan may not become most friendly nations in near future but even becoming indifferent to each other has better prospects for common people rather than their remaining enemies.
    Best Regards

  15. ASHOK says:

    I don’t understand where is pakistani police. LAW and LAW ENFORCEMENT are two different things.When an incident happens like if some one rapes some body,when some body steals some thing,when a murder happens,when some one beat some one or any anti social activity takes place A COMPLAINT IS LODGED with a LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.In normal society it is POLICE who cut a FIR and does the intial investgations.Now it does not matter if the LAWS are either ISLAMIC or WESTERN if the intial investigation is done by the police a prima-facea case is registered but what we see here that the neighbourhood goons are the ones to accuse people of crimes and on the name of investgations use stories to prove the guilt and unrully mullahas sentance people without a proper hearing.I don’t have any knowledge of Islam but I don’t think it is suppose to be like this in Koran.

  16. Imran Ali Gopang says:

    Let analyse it first What Islam says about this kind of barbaric act does Islam Allow us to ruin the respect of woman like this ask the question to yourself? The word Islam is derived from root word “Salam” which means peace and tranquility. I do not know much about the deep Laws of Islam but those who call themselves as the protectors of islam must realise they are doing nothing but displaying the black image of this sacred religion of our beloved prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H. This act should be condemned and doers of this act should be punished.

  17. Faz says:

    In response to Dinesh’s comment- while I agree with you about the Talibani-frankenstein coming back to haunt its creators, I have to disagree about your second point. By asking Pakistan to stop supporting Kashmir based militants USA is picking sides. While I do think Pakistan should stop supporting any elements causing chaos in India, the US should also ask India to stop meddling with Pakistani affairs in Balochistan. There is some meddling that both countries need to stop as neither country is a saint. I believe if the US was more fair in its approach in this regards the Pakistani response would have been better.

  18. Mehar says:

    Honor killings, burying women alive, beheadings, public flogging of 17 year old girls, killing of para military forces, suicide bombings, & to top it all corrupt, inept leaders who have ransacked the countrys treasury . It seems Pakistan is well on the way to self destruction. At this point one can only pray for a miracle!!

  19. Irfan says:

    It was a horrific act and everybody in Pakistan is guilty of this flogging.Pakistani government,Army, Pakistani citizens. You get the govt you deserve. You had 60 years of independence to spread modern education to every corner of the country just like India did.

    But your priorities were different: Your Army never thought that they will one day fight against Pakistan and be barbaric to it’s own people. Genie is out of the bottle now.

  20. Margaret Byrne says:

    Allah must be weeping for his children in Pakistan. On this Friday Prayer day for Muslims and Good Friday for Christians we must join together and insist that these terrorists in the Swat be stopped and removed.
    I pray that your government listen to it’s people and that the world shows outrage at the human right’s violations.

  21. Dinesh says:

    Pakistan has been supporting these militants for decades now.
    Your Army and ISI supported these people with weapons and money.
    You did not bother when they wrecked havoc in Afghanistan and Kashmir.
    And now you condemn them when the monster you created is ready to eat the very country that created it.

    And you refuse to learn!!!
    Just for example have a look at :–bi

    Clause (J) of the bill, called the Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement or the PEACE Act of 2009, requires Pakistan ‘not to support any person or group that conducts violence, sabotage, or other activities meant to instil fear or terror in India.’

    And you conclude:

    This means that Pakistan will have to ban all Kashmir groups involved in armed struggle in the valley against India.

    Stop supporting these people now before they takeover your country.

    I know common Pakistani didn’t have much to do with the happenings in Afghanistan and Kashmir but how can you all be so gullible? Take charge of your lives ask your Government to perform, ask your Army to fight the enemy. (At least ponder: why is your Army not even trying to fight Taliban?) God has given you brains to think, use them!

  22. sonia says:

    This was a horrendous and terrible act. Though there are chances that this video maybe fake as girl stands up and simply walks away after being flogged but Talibans are capable of doing anything.

  23. Salmeen Mandokhail says:

    it is a coercive and barbaric action.
    the people who claim that it is shariya, i am going to ask them that in shariya you can not give punishment without 4 witnesses.

    Nothing better is done for Islam only defaming islam in world community.

  24. Ayaz says:

    Talibans are like a cancer to this society which needs to be taken out from its roots. Our government is the cause why this cancer is spreading. We will never be able to get rid of this disease unless we have a true democratic government without any corrupt politicians. Even a herd of animals would protect its members from any outside harm but we are hellbent to annihilate ourselves. We have so far not learnt from our mistakes in the past and have been electing the same criminals over and over again. Weak and corrupt government can only prolong its existence by making an unacceptale truce with tyrants and in this case with the talibans. Shame on our government and the so called peace-loving mullahs of Swat.

  25. AD says:

    @ g. a. slam says..

    life must be so good in your simple little world. Unfortunately the majority of people in Pakistan do not have the luxury to indulge in such pleasures of the past and forgotten age.

    There is sabotage happening and there is rampant terrorism and violence against the People of Pakistan, however the real enemy has not reared its face to the masses yet. on Facebook on Facebook