Pakistan

PM Sharif to address public gathering in Swat today

MINGORA: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to inaugurate Nawaz Sharif Kidney Hospital in Swat today.

The 116-bed hospital has been completed at a cost of about Rs 600 million. It has an OPD, an operation theater, male and female wards, dialysis units and other necessary facilities.

The Prime Minister would also address a public meeting at Grassy Ground, Saidu Sharif.

Swat had been a militants’ safe haven before military launched an operation to flush out all terrorist elements.  The army pushed Pakistani Taliban militants out of the scenic northwestern valley with a big offensive in 2009.

The valley even had Pakistan’s only ski resort.

But that all changed when Pakistani Taliban militants infiltrated from the Afghan border and overran the 5,000 sq km (2,000 sq mile) valley in 2007.

The militants imposed strict Islamist rule, closed girls’ schools, murdered policemen and publicly hanged and beheaded opponents. But normalcy has returned to the volatile region after army’s offensive against the militants.

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