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KHAR: Entry of the residents of Bajaur Agency into some hilly areas of the neighbouring Lower Dir district has been banned over unknown reasons, locals complained here on Monday.

Talking to Dawn, they said the Lower Dir administration had not been allowing Bajaur residents to visit the mountainous localities of the settled district for about two months.

Aslam Khan, a local trader, said he made several attempts to visit a village in Maidan for business purposes during last two weeks, but the police officials at the checkpost stopped them despite the fact that they had CNICs.

He said police officials told them that they had been directed by the district administration not to allow Bajaur people’s entry into Lower Dir over security reasons.

He termed it discrimination against the residents of Bajaur Agency.

“It is for the first time in my lifetime that our people have been barred from visiting Lower Dir,” Rasool Khan of Salarzai, said.

Saidullah Khan of Khar, who is associated with transport business, also complained about being stopped from entering Lower Dir. He said he was going to Lal Qila to meet his relatives a few days ago, but the police officials did not allow him, citing security reasons.

“We wanted to go to hilly areas in Shai and Bin Shai regions of Lower Dir for picnic on the third day of Eidul Azha, but the police did not allow us to enter the area,” Naeem Khan of Salarzai lamented.

Meanwhile, talking to Dawn, ruling PML-N MNA Shahabuddin Khan said one of his sons along with his friends was also stopped by police from entering Maidan area of Lower Dir.

He flayed the district administration for slapping the ban, and asked for immediate withdrawal of the ‘unjust’ restriction as people of Bajaur were peaceful and law-abiding citizens.

The Bajaur political administration also confirmed the ban on entry of residents into some areas of the neighbouring Lower Dir district.

An official said the political administration would take up the issue with the relevant authorities.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2017

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