Analysis of Sports as Tool for Peacebuilding and Community Cohesion in Post-Conflict Region of Swat, Pakistan
The militant conflict in Swat valley of Pakistan during 2005-2009, followed by Pakistan military operations highly influenced the social relations, trust and cohesion among different social and ethnic classes. This research focuses on how the sports interventions carried out in post conflict development of Swat valley have contributed in peace building and reviving the trust of conflict affected community. Semi structured interview, focused group discussion and participatory observation methods were applied for primary data collection. The findings show that summer and winter sport festivals started by Pakistan army with the help of provincial government and national and international NGOs have contributed to reducing tension, uncertainty and revival of social cohesion among different groups of people. The community was highly satisfied with sports initiatives because the outsider players, media and NGOs presented the soft image of the Swat valley. Allocation of regular budget and management of sports activities may be made compulsory under the reconstruction interventions in post crisis regions.