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Girls read loudly while attending a class in 2009 at a makeshift school tent in Mingora, located in Pakistan's Swat Valley, about 260 kilometres by road northwest of Islamabad. In 2009, private schools in the troubled Swat district were ordered to close by a Taliban edict banning girls’ education. About 150 schools had already been destroyed the year before. (FAISAL MAHMOOD/REUTERS)
Girls read loudly while attending a class in 2009 at a makeshift school tent in Mingora, located in Pakistan's Swat Valley, about 260 kilometres by road northwest of Islamabad. In 2009, private schools in the troubled Swat district were ordered to close by a Taliban edict banning girls’ education. About 150 schools had already been destroyed the year before. (FAISAL MAHMOOD/REUTERS)

In her words: Malala Yousafzai’s chronicle of life under the Taliban Add to ...

Hundreds of people are arriving daily in Mingora from surrounding areas while residents of this city are moving to other areas. The rich have moved out of Swat while the poor have no place but to stay here.

We asked our cousin on the telephone to take us around the city in this splendid weather. He picked us up but when he came to the bazaar we found out that the markets were closed and the road wore a deserted look. We wanted to head towards the Qambar area but somebody told us a big procession has been brought out there.

That night Maulana Fazlullah (a pro-Taliban cleric) came on his radio and kept crying for a long time. He was demanding an end to the military operation. He asked people not to migrate but instead return to their homes.

 

SUNDAY, FEB. 15 : DON'T BE SCARED

Some guests from our village and Peshawar came today. When we were having lunch, firing started outside. I had never heard such firing. We got scared, thought that the Taliban had arrived. I ran towards my father who consoled me by telling me "Don't be scared - this is firing for peace."

He told me that he read in the newspaper that the government and the militants are to sign a peace deal tomorrow and he firing is in jubilation. Later, during the night when the Taliban announced the peace deal on their FM station, another spell of more stronger firing started. People believe more in what the militants say rather then the government.

When we heard the announcement, first my mother and then father started crying. My two younger brothers had tears in their eyes too.

 

MONDAY, FEB. 16: REOPENING?

Today I was very happy because the government and the militants were to sign a peace deal. Today the helicopters were flying very low too. One of my cousins remarked that with the gradual return of peace the choppers were coming down too.

In the afternoon people started distributing sweets. One of my friends called me to greet me. She said she hopes she could go out of her home now because she was imprisoned in her room for the last several months. We were also happy hoping the girls’ schools might open now.

 

TUESDAY, FEB. 17: HUSTLE AND BUSTLE

Today I started preparing for the examinations because after the peace deal there is a hope that girls’ schools could reopen. My teacher did not turn up today because she went to attend an engagement.

The people of Swat have become tired of the violence.

When I entered my room I saw my two brothers playing. One had a toy helicopter while the other had a pistol made of paper. One would yell “fire” and the other would say “take position”. One of my brothers told my father he wanted to make an atomic bomb.

Maulana Sufi Mohammad is in Swat today. The media are here too. The city is witnessing a lot of rush. The city's hustle and bustle has returned. May God help make this agreement successful. I am optimistic.

 

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 18: HOPE SMASHED

I went to the market today. It was crowded. People are happy about the deal. I saw a traffic jam after a long time. In the evening my father broke the news of the death of a Swat journalist (Musa Khankhel). Mom's is not feeling well. Our hopes of peace have been smashed.

 

THURSDAY, FEB. 19: PEACE NOT WAR

My father prepared breakfast today because my mum is not feeling well. She complained to my father, asking why did he tell her about the journalist's death? I told my brothers that we will not talk of war but peace from now on. We received the information from our school headmistress that examinations will be held in the first week of March. I have stepped up my studies.

BBC News website and BBC Urdu

The original diaries: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

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