PESHAWAR, Jan 18: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Friday pushed the federal government to conduct independent inquiry into the killing of 18 people, including children in Alamgoder area of Khyber Agency.
The lawmakers also condemned Peshawar police action against the dead people’s families, who placed coffins outside Governor’s House on Wednesday night to demand justice.
Treasury and opposition benches held security forces responsible for killing people inside their houses in retaliatory action in Alamgoder area of Bara sub division on Tuesday.
They said the government should conduct judicial inquiry into the incident through a judge of Supreme Court or Peshawar High Court.
Awami National Party MPA Saqibullah Khan Chamkani, who raised the matter through a point of order, said attackers were in the military uniform had entered the premises early in the morning and killed people, including children, indiscriminately.
“According to the eyewitnesses’ accounts, attackers were in the security force uniform and that they swooped on the houses and started indiscriminate firing,” he said, adding that 18 civilians had been killed but everybody in authority was in the state of denial.
He informed the House that Junaid (5), Abdul Khaliq (14), Hazrat Ali (16), Minhaj (22 and one disabled person, Abdul Jalil (65), who all belonged to the same family, were shot dead inside their home.
The lawmaker said a young sister was begging gunmen to pardon her nine-year-old brother, Junaid, but even he was not spared.
“She was crying before the men in uniform to spare her small brother,” he said.
“How local people will cooperate with security forces against militants if they kill innocent people in retaliatory action,” he asked the chair, saying they had yet to learn from the East Pakistan episode.
He said there was anger against security forces in the area and demanded that the government take measures to avert such incidents in future.
Mufti Kifayatullah of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal criticised the provincial government for allowing police to use water cannon and teargas against the people, who staged a sit-in along with coffins outside Governor’s House.
He said the provincial capital was sealed with containers on Friday to stop political parties from holding rallies against the killings.
“Political parties were taking out rallies against the army, not the government. Despite that we were not allowed,” he said, adding that army was a ‘sacred cow’ and nobody was allowed to utter a single word against it.
The MPA said the federal government sent a high-level delegation for dialogue with Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran chief Dr Tahirul Qadri and accepted his unconstitutional demands.
He added that the governor’s rule had been imposed in Balochistan to pacify the terror victims’ families in Quetta, but the relatives of the Bara dead people were dispersed by using water cannon in chilly night in Peshawar.
Sikandar Khan Sherpao of Qaumi Watan Party, Qalandar Lodhi of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid and Barrister Javid Abbasi of PML-Nawaz also spoke on the issue and demanded a high-level judicial inquiry.
Responding to the point of order, information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain condemned the action in Bara and said it was the federal government’s prerogative to order inquiry into any incident taking place in tribal areas.
He supported the lawmakers’ call for holding the judicial inquiry into the matter.
“On behalf of the provincial government, I request the centre to conduct investigations and bring the people responsible for it to justice,” he said. He alleged that some people were trying to politicise the matter.
Earlier, a question related with inoperative tube wells in different parts of the province was referred to the relevant committee.
Meanwhile, the House through a unanimous resolution demanded of the federal government to give Nishan-i-Pakistan, the country’s highest civil award, to senior provincial minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour, who was killed in suicide attack in Peshawar.It also passed resolutions to set up a fertilizer plant in Kohat division and a shelter in Peshawar for homeless senior citizens.