This is the final component of a five-part series of articles contributed by WORDE
researchers, as they traveled through 35 cities and villages across
Pakistan to explore civil society's capacity to counter Talibanization.
WORDE's team met with over a hundred civil society
For over a decade, extremists have targeted Pakistan's moderate religious institutions, and have systematically executed moderate religious scholars and tribal elders. In numerous cases, the bodies of revered saints have been disinterred and publically desecrated. When the Taliban occupied the Swat Valley in 2008, they attempted to destroy the tomb of the great Pushto poet-saint Saidu Baba, pictured above. According to local lore, the attackers were miraculously blinded by a blazing fire and fled the scene in fear, never to return. Soon after the Taliban's occupation came to an end, families returned to celebrate at the shrine.
Mehreen Farooq and Waleed Ziad