PESHAWAR, Sept 13: The display of Taliban’s posters at prominent places in Matani Bazaar on the outskirts of Peshawar has panicked local people, especially traders, who have demanded beefing up security in the suburban areas.
The residents of the area told Dawn that three posters ostensibly pasted by Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan in the bazaar remained displayed for two days till Wednesday’s night.
“The display of intimidating posters in the bazaar is a direct threat to the lives and properties of the people. It shows that militants are active in the area without any check on them by the law enforcement agencies,” said shopkeepers in the bazaar on condition of anonymity.
They said that a blast in the bazaar on Aug 31 had already frightened people. They expected that administration would take effective steps for protection of people but again threatening posters started appearing in the area, they added.
A frightened shopkeeper said that most of the people avoided talking about the posters because they looked upon each other as informers of militants. That’s why they could not devise a plan to protect themselves from militants, he added.
The shopkeeper said that one of the posters was a direct warning to those people, who were supporting anti-Taliban peace committees. The other posters carried a message for those peace volunteers, who had helped police in setting up a checkpost in the bazaar, he said.
The shopkeeper said that the third poster appreciated the people of Matani for not supporting anti-Taliban peace bodies. The poster said that Taliban could get information about happening of everything in the area and it would be better for the people to focus on their business, he said.
“We are used to such threats but common people, mainly businessmen, are really worried because they are vulnerable to attacks and bomb blasts,” Fazl Malik deputy chief of Adezai Qaumi Lashkar, told Dawn on Thursday.He said that militants could not display posters in the bazaar without help of local people. He said that they informers of Taliban in the area kept them informed about movement of peace committee workers and government officials otherwise they were not in a position to attack anyone in broad daylight.
Mr Malik said that movement of suspected militants had increased in the suburban areas of Peshawar. He said that they were also informed about presence of would-be suicide bombers in the areas.
He said that Taliban were asking people to avoid supporting police and forming peace bodies against them. He said that volunteers of his peace body were ready to face Taliban.
An official of Matani police station said that they got information about display of the posters but he avoided sharing details with this scribe. He said that station house officer himself visited parts of the bazaar but could not find any poster.
“Police are put at red alert to keep vigilance on the movement of suspected elements,” the official claimed and added that situation in the area was under control.