The Swarri Bazar is the place in district Buner of the NWFP province of Pakistan where villagers come from far off mountaing villages and isolated dwellings to do their shopping.
Their is a bustling market held in an open ground every Saturday. This is also the high-point of social activity in all of Buner.
People come to buy groceries, fruit, vegetables and other essential items. There are very few towns in the district and even fewer shops. The fair like market every weekend offers merchandise from all over the province. Competition ensures lower prices.
People come religiously for it is also the day you make your social calls and arrange business meetings with others living far apart.
Buner was one of the three districts where the local populations was forced to flee their homes for safety when Pakistan's armed forces launched an operation against Al-Qaida and the Taliban in May 2009.
Over 2.4 million people were rendered homeless and declared as "Internally Displaced People" or IDPs. Some 800,000 were from district Buner.
Security operations still continue in the area although the Al-Qaida and Taliban extremist fighters have been routed out. The IDPs have returned back to their homes from the refugee camps in Mardan, Nowshera and Peshawar in the NWFP.
However, tall crops are not allowed to be grown. So people cannot grow maize, millet or sugarcane as the Taliban can take shelter in the fields posing danger to the security forces.
Food is, thus the biggest need and the most diverse offering at the Weekend Market in Swarri Bazar. Although international NGOs and the United Nations World Food Programme carry out food distributions to help the repatriated IDPs, many have not been registered. Others are simply too proud to take handouts.
From vegetables to fruits to groceries, shoes and alternative medicines, there is a lot that folks can get. The bustle is urgent. Most customers have to return back to their mountain villages before the curfew begins at 1900 hours in the evening.
And the market is always a bustling one on Saturdays!