The district administration has imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure — the law regulating the maintenance of public order — in North Waziristan tribal district in view of the existing law and order situation in the area, it emerged on Monday.
An order imposing Section 144, issued by Abdul Nasir Khan, the deputy commissioner of North Waziristan, citing "public interest" and dated June 8 has taken effect for 30 days.
According to the order, the district police officer of North Waziristan reported that due to the "current law and order situation, threats of militancy and other sabotage activities are expected in the district in case of dharnas (sit-ins), protest rallies, jalsas (public meetings) and public gathering[s] of five or more persons".
In order to prevent any "untoward situation", it was imperative to impose a complete ban on dharnas, protest rallies, jalsas and public gatherings of five or more people, the order stated.
According to the DC, the order will be applicable to the entire district and anyone who fails to comply could be punished under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The order will not apply to congregational prayers in mosques and at funerals.
The imposition of Section 144 in North Waziristan comes in the wake of a series of attacks on security personnel in recent weeks that the military has blamed on terrorist elements.
On Friday (June 7), three officers and a soldier of the Pakistan Army were martyred in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in the Kharqamar area of the district.
The explosion took place less than a week after a Pakistan Army soldier was martyred in a gun-and-bomb attack on a security vehicle in North Waziristan. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had noted at the time that "terrorist activities in North Waziristan have increased lately."
The military's media wing had linked that attack with the Kharqamar check-post incident of May 26, when a clash had taken place between Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) workers and Pakistan Army troops.
Three people were killed and 15 ─ including five soldiers ─ were injured in an exchange of fire in North Waziristan's Boyya area, when the Kharqamar check-post was attacked during a protest in which PTM members were also participating.
A day after the clash, Section 144 was imposed in South Waziristan tribal district in view of public safety concerns and in order to maintain the law and order situation in the area.