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KHAR: Ban on the entry of residents of Bajaur tribal district to some areas of the neighbouring Lower Dir district has been persisting for last one and a half year owing to unknown reasons, the locals complained on Monday.

They said the ban was imposed in July 2017 by the Dir administration, adding Maidan, Barawal, Shahi and Bin Shai were among the areas where the entry of Bajaur residents had been banned.

Aziz Khan, a resident of Khar town, said he did not know the reason behind the ban. He complained that he along with a friend tried to visit Maidan a few days ago, but the police officials at a checkpost did not allow them.

Naimat Khan, who is associated with dry fruit business in Khar, said he was going to Barwal area to buy walnuts, but was not allowed despite the fact that he had a CNIC.

Jan Wali Khan, a trader, said he wished to visit a village in Maidan a few days ago, but the police did not allow him to enter the area. He said the police officials refused to mention the reasons for the ban on the entry of residents of Bajaur into Lower Dir areas.

Former PML-N MNA Shahabuddin Khan told Dawn that localities of Lower Dir district were the only places in the country where the people of Bajaur were not allowed to enter, which was regrettable.

He called for immediate lifting of the ‘unjust’ restriction as Bajaur was a part of the province and its people were peaceful and civilised citizens.

He urged the local administration and lawmakers to take up the issue with the relevant authorities.

Meanwhile, an official confirmed the ban, saying that the Bajaur administration would take up the matter with officials in Lower Dir.

Published in Dawn, January 8th, 2019

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