ANP claims ‘resurgence’ of Taliban in South Waziristan

Updated 02 Apr 2019

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A lawmaker  questioned the existence of peace committees (aman committees) in South Waziristan district.— AFP/File
A lawmaker questioned the existence of peace committees (aman committees) in South Waziristan district.— AFP/File

PESHAWAR: The ‘resurgence of Taliban’ in South Waziristan tribal district echoed in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly here on Monday amid heated debate over the poor law and order situation across the province, including merged districts.

The lawmakers exchanged barbs over the increasing incidents of extortion, kidnapping for ransom and child abuse, and the issues related to the Fata-KP merger.

The debate generally focused on the law and order situation in the province.

Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani presided over the session.

“A week ago, I went to South Waziristan and saw gun-toting good Taliban roam around,” ANP parliamentary leader Sardar Hussain Babak told the house.

PA witnesses heated debate over security situation, Fata-KP merger

Mr Babak questioned the existence of peace committees (aman committees) in South Waziristan district.

He alleged that members of the peace committees received 30 percent kickbacks in the development work carried out in South Waziristan.

The ANP leader added that the peace committees took Rs2.4 million from every truck carrying goods from Afghanistan.

“The entire world has pressured Pakistan to eliminate proscribed organisations from its soil, while the authorities have taken steps but despite that, the activists of such outfits are delivering speeches and collecting donations in mosques,” he said.

Mr Babak wondered why the provincial government was silent about the brutal assassination of the province’s police officer, SP Tahir Dawar, in Afghanistan, who was kidnapped in Islamabad.

Leader of the opposition Mohammad Akram Khan Durrani said the incidents of bomb blasts had almost ended in the province but the rate of other crimes was on the rise.

“When a Peshawar High Court judge is not safe, how the people will be saved,” he said while referring to the attack on Justice Ayub Khan on Feb 28 in Hayatabad.

He criticised the provincial police for its failure to arrest the people involved in extortion, kidnapping for ransom, robbery and child abuse cases.

Mr Durrani criticised the government for merging Fata with KP ‘without preparation’.

He said thousands of Khasadar Force personnel had been protesting for many days due to the uncertainty surrounding their jobs.

“The entire Khasadar Force will stage a big protest demonstration in Khyber on April 3,” he said.

The opposition leader also drew the government’s attention towards the interference of KP Governor Shah Farman in the affairs of the merged districts.

“After Fata-KP merger, the chief minister is the chief executive of merged districts but despite that, the governor is chairing meetings regarding merged districts in violation of the Constitution,” he said.

Mr Durrani demanded of the government to explain position on the floor of the house regarding that violation of the Constitution.

PTI lawmaker Babar Saleem said the previous provincial government had delegated a lot of powers to the police in the larger public interest but the police’s conduct towards the people was unsatisfactory.

He warned that police should improve their conduct otherwise the power given to them could be withdrawn by amending the relevant law.

The house also passed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Promotion, Protection and Enforcement of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2019