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KHAR, July 10: The authorities have lifted ban on motorcycle riding in Bajaur tribal region after five years. The ban on motorcycle riding was imposed in 2008 when Taliban stepped up their activities in Bajaur Agency.

The announcement about lifting the ban was made by Brig Ghulam Haidar, a sector commander of army in the region, during his speech through the security forces-run FM radio channel (Radio Aman FM 88) on Wednesday night.

“The lifting of ban on motorcycle riding is a gift for the tribesmen on the eve of the holy month of Ramazan. This good news may enhance happiness of Ramazan,” he said.

Brig Ghulam said that imposing ban on motorcycle riding was a difficult decision but it was taken only in the larger interest of people of the tribal agency. The ban was aimed at controlling insurgency and preventing targeted killings because motorcycles were being used for attacks against anti-Taliban forces, he added.

The official said that security forces with the help of tribesmen eliminated extremist elements and restored writ of the government in the entire agency.

Brig Ghulam said that hundreds of security personnel were deployed along the border to prevent infiltration of militants into the area from Afghanistan.

Appreciating the tribal people for their cooperation with security forces, he said that residents of the agency always supported security forces and administration to restore writ of the government. He said that tribal people were fulfilling their territorial responsibilities according to the need of the time.

The residents of different parts of the agency welcomed the decision of lifting ban on motorcycle riding. Lifting ban on motorcycle riding was a long standing demand of the people of the agency, they said, adding it would mitigate the problems of tribal people.

Meanwhile, security forces defused an explosive device planted along a roadside in Chinnar area on Wednesday.

Officials said that local people informed the authorities about the presence of the explosive device. Security forces with the help of members of local peace committee defused the bomb.

A search operation was launched in the area to arrest the accused involved in the act but no arrest was made, officials said.

Also, local administration beefed up security across the agency to maintain law and order during the holy month of Ramazan. Hundreds of additional personnel of Levies and FC were deployed at various trade centres and public places to avert any eventuality.