After more than a decade of fear and terror, Swat vibrated with the voices and sounds which were ruthlessly suppressed by both the state and non-state actors. The huge public gathering in Kabal ground under the banner of the nascent Pakhtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), despite intimidations, knocks on the doors not to participate and numerous hurdles, was a mixture of sigh of relief as well as collective mourning over the terror and destruction of the past decade.It was an event where everyone, from speakers to the participants had gone through the same agonies. All had unanswered questions in this land of the pure, because a precedent of accountability of the real powers had never been set. If we established the precedent of taking to task those responsible for the dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971, we would never have witnessed the subsequent abrogation of the Constitution, state within a state and its destructive policies that earned it the failed state tag and international isolation.The entangling in the Afghan war and creating the Frankenstein in the form of religious extremism to use it as foreign, security tool and control domestic politics were also the brainchild of the same mindset that operated outside the ambit of the Constitution and were above any sort of accountability. Such sense of impunity and unquestioned power resulted in a carefree use of force domestically to the point of using its own soil as a launching pad for asymmetrical war and its citizens as gunpowder. The main question asked by majority of the speakers in the Swat rally was who had benefited from the war on terror, what the rationale and objectives of this destructive project were and how it was conducted. Participants wanted to know why the environment of fear and suffering was the same under the Taliban as well as the military. Other predominant questions raised at this historic gathering were why the army dealt in the same manner as Taliban and why Swat seemed like an occupied territory. Prior to the PTM no mainstream party dared to ask such questions unequivocally. Perhaps that is one of the reasons of the ire of the military toward this movement.The PTM’s stance on upholding the Constitution should be appreciated and supported. That pathway will steer the country out of the present crises and ensure respect for institutions by operating within the ambit of the ConstitutionThe second reason is panic of the deep state about the PTM’s consistent and persistent reference to the Constitution and the movement’s adherence to it. Almost all the speakers referred to the Constitution and the necessity of upholding it by every institution of the state. The allegations hurled at the PTM, meant to detract from the real cause, of use of anti-parliamentary language and a confrontational posture, stood emasculated when each demand put forward at the rally was supported by a reference to the relevant section of the Constitution. In this regard the youthful leadership of the nascent movement proved more mature by realising that the crises created by the state, forcing the genesis of this movement, lay in the weak constitutional structure causing institutional imbalance. Consequently, the perforce created imbalance resulted in the primacy of a certain institution over the Constitution and its status above accountability.Manzoor Pakhtun while addressing the mammoth gathering candidly said, “There is a state within the state and the original state [de-jure] is terrified and high jacked by the other [the deep state].” The movement has brought the primacy of upholding and a constant reference to the Constitution for social justice, equality and transparency which is the cornerstone of national integration and integrity of the state. “This country is united by the Constitution. There is no other relation except the Constitution and whoever abrogates it is tantamount to disintegrating the state,” elaborated Manzoor. It is a healthy sign that such voices, evolving into a movement, emanate from the grass roots that shatter self-woven mythologies that grant a deity status to some institutions and place them above the Constitution and accountability.The movement also encountered the fake narrative of institution or Constitution, state or Constitution and body or limb which was employed by every usurper as a convenient slogan and justification for its abrogation. A state itself is an outcome of a social contract and every state institution is the creation of the Constitution. Thus there is no concept of the state without a Constitution. Its abrogation or violation reduces a state to a mere fiefdom ending in might is right which gives birth to an invincible Leviathan. Sensing this Manzoor Pakhtun declared that, “Anyone trampling the Constitution by operating beyond its ambit will be pushed back into its orbit.” Though some elements consciously try to restrict the movement only to the Tribal Areas (FATA), it has become across the board the voice of the oppressed. Ali Wazir said in his fiery speech, “We are against tyranny and atrocity, we are on the side of the victims and oppressed whether they are Hazara, Sindhi, Baloch or someone else. We also demand accountability for the blood of police and army soldiers. Why has their blood been shed in this war of vested interest?”Some elements as well as commentators accept that the demands presented by the movement are within the ambit of the Constitution but its method of emotionality is objectionable. Perhaps they are obliquely referring to the critique on the army.From leadership to activists and followers, all are victims of the one and half decade long war on terror. In fact, suffering and miseries of these people gave birth to the movement. Now they demand the minimum and basic right to life and integrity from the state.As far as criticism of the army is concerned, it is the de-facto owner and implementer of the war on terror and has blatantly attributed the self-assessed success to the institution, even to an individual propagated through #ThankYouRaheelSharrif. Naturally its conduct will come under public scrutiny too. As Manzoor Pashtun underlined, “This war was started by a general, Pervez Musharraf not by the Pakhtun… and another general, Zia called $400 million dollars peanuts for the Afghan war.”The PTM’s stance on upholding the Constitution should be appreciated and supported. That pathway will steer the country out of the present crises and ensure respect for institutions by operating within the ambit of the Constitution.The writer is a political analyst hailing from Swat. Tweets @MirSwatPublished in Daily Times, May 3rd 2018.