PESHAWAR, July 7: The anti-Taliban peace committees in settled and semi-tribal areas of the district have decided to cooperate with each other by sharing information and taking joint action against militants to secure Frontier Region of Peshawar.

A source said that for the first time the residents of Pastawana, a far-flung area in Frontier Region of Peshawar, formed a peace committee and took arms against militants.

He said that Pastawana was once considered a base camp of militants, who used to enter the area via Kohat, Nowshera, Khyber Agency and Peshawar to carry out sabotage acts.

However, the area was cleared when Safwat Ghayyur was commandant of Frontier Constabulary (FC). But militants recaptured Pastawana after withdrawal of FC. They also occupied the properties of pro-government tribal people after forcing them to leave.

The source said that formation of an armed lashkar against militants was difficult as the area had forests and its population was scattered.

However, security forces cleared the area and secured the hilly strategic points.

The source said that the armed lashkar was recently formed but it was very active. Its leaders decided to get support of the rest of peace bodies in the tribal and settled areas to block entry of militants, he added.

Fazl Malik, a leader of Adezai Qaumi Lashkar, when contacted, said that they were ready to extend support to the newly formed armed lashkar. He said that it was a longstanding demand of the people living on the suburbs of Peshawar because they were always attacked by militants from Pastawana and Bora areas.

“We are in constant contact with each other and our support for them will always be there because they have taken great risk. The credit goes to the law enforcement agencies that encouraged people to secure their villages from the attackers,” he added.

Mr Malik said that militants had been silent since the murder of Fahimur Rehman, former head of Bazidkhel Qaumi Lashkar, but it did not mean that they had stopped attacks. He said that they were planning attacks but the anti-Talbian volunteers were also ready to face them anywhere.

Mr Malik opposed some members of peace bodies for their tussle with the law enforcement agencies. He said the peace bodies had not been formed to fight against police or other law enforcement agencies. The peace bodies were meant to support law enforcers in hour of need, he added.

“We have time and again asked Dilawar Khan, head of Adezai Qaumi Lashkar, to avoid speaking against government and police as the enemy (militants) will take advantage of our differences,” he said.

Similarly, the newly appointed head of Bazidkhel Qaumi Lashkar, Asif Khan, brother of Fahimur Rehman, told Dawn that their fight against Taliban and Lashkar-i-Islam would continue.

“We will hold a joint meeting soon to devise a strategy for security of Peshawar, however, it is yet to be scheduled,” he said and added that the only solution to eradicate militants was to join hands against them.

Mr Khan said that the murder of his brother and his other associates in a mysterious way was a great shock for all patriotic people. He said that it was duty of the government to expose the killers as his brother was fighting for the nation and country.


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