Archaeological evidence indicates that Swat's history dates back to at least the 3d cent. BC Long a stronghold of Buddhism, it has several Buddhist stupas. In 2007?8 there was fighting in Swat between Pakistani troops and Islamic militants. A peace agreement was signed with the militants in May, 2008, but fighting resumed two months later. In Feb., 2009, the government, which had failed to rout the militants, agreed to a cease-fire and the establishment of Islamic rule in the district. The situation deteriorated, however, following government operations in April against militants in nearby areas, and in May?July the government mounted a major offensive in Swat that largely reestablished government control. Swat was among those areas most severely devastated by the monsoon floods of 2010.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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