PESHAWAR, June 4: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Saturday condemned the ‘infiltration’ of militants from Afghanistan into Dir Upper and asked both the Pakistan and Afghan governments to take measures for preventing occurrence of such events in future.
The provincial government made the demand in a special meeting chaired by Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti here on Saturday. The meeting was convened to discuss aftermaths of a militants’ attack from Afghanistan on a border post at Shaltalo Dara, in upper Dir district around 20 kilometres from Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Police and Levies forces thwarted the militants’ attack, which left 27 of them killed, while according to government claims 45 militants were eliminated during the clash that took place on Wednesday last.
Provincial Police Officer Fayyaz Khan Toru briefed the provincial cabinet on security situation in Dir Upper in the wake of militants’ attack, which was mounted from Kunar province of Afghanistan, Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told a news conference soon after the meeting.
The cabinet, he said, asked Karzai government and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) troops stationed in Afghanistan to take measures for stopping intrusion of militants from their side into Pakistan.
“This brazen attack demonstrated that either the Nato lacks ability to counter militants or it is hand in gloves with them,” said Mr Hussain. He added whatever the reason was, they demanded that the Afghan government should not allow use of its soil against any country particularly Pakistan.
In the same breath, the minister also asked the federal government to take up the matter with Afghan government besides putting in place elaborate arrangements to protect its borders.
“Protection of border is the job of armed forces and that is what the provincial government has demanded in the meeting,” he said. Those demands would be communicated to the federal government in writing too, he added. The cabinet also approved extending compensation package to those killed in the attack, he said.
The meeting also decided to support raising of tribal lashkars in Dir and Chitral districts, which shares porous border with Afghanistan, to prevent cross border infiltration of militants from Afghanistan.
“These lashkars will be assisted to meet their requirements for weaponry and food,” the minister said, adding government would make sure that anti-social elements didn’t join those lashkars.
To a question, Mr Hussain acknowledged that in the past many criminals got into the lashkars raised in different parts of the province against militants and affected the government strategy.
“This wouldn’t happen this time,” he said, adding, the chief minister would hold a jirga of elders from Dir Lower, Upper and Chitral districts in this regard.
The provincial cabinet also reiterated its demand from the federal government to withdraw the platoons of Frontier Constabulary from Islamabad and Karachi and post them in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The cabinet, the minister said, also demanded of the centre to pass amendments in Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 without wasting further time. Because of delays, authorities were unable to effectively tackle the menace of militancy in the province, he added. The government also decided to announce special package for the families of prominent leaders, who had been killed by militants. Details of the proposed package would be worked out later on, the minister added.