MINGORA: The members of peace committees and local journalists showed concerns over fresh wave of targeted killing incidents after unidentified persons shot dead a peace committee member and journalist Javedullah Khan.

They were attending the funeral of the deceased, who was shot dead on Tuesday when he was going to his fields in his car, in Shakardara area of Matta tehsil.

In December 2019, unidentified assailants had shot dead Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz local leader Advocate Feroz Shah when he was returning home after offering evening prayer.

According to record, 54 members of peace committees and elders had lost their lives in the targeted killing incidents since 2010. The recent wave of targeted killings reignited fear among the local people, particularly among peace committee members.

The relatives of Javedullah Khan said that it was the 16th such incident in their family. “Our family has always talked for peace in Swat and that’s why we all were standing with the law enforcement agencies to bring peace during the militancy period,” said Mumtaz Ali, a cousin of the deceased.

He said that they were being punished as they fought for bringing peace but now they were tired of counting and burying dead bodies. He added that those, who were killing their family members, did not want peace in the area that’s why they were killing the peace loving people.

Mr Ali said that militants killed his 16 family members while four other were injured.

Another family member, Nemat Ali, who was also peace committee member, said that after the recent wave of targeted killings he was confined to his house.

“Though our 16 family members have sacrificed their lives for peace, yet we have never felt in peace as our elders and youth all are on the target of militants. Only the previous two years were peaceful for us otherwise every year since the insurgency, one or two members of our family have been killed,” he said.

Fatehullah Khan, whose father was killed by Taliban and later he was made the head of peace committee in Bara Bandai village, said that he was concerned as the peace committee members were being killed one by one. He said that law enforcement agencies completely failed to either kill or capture a single target killer in Swat which was questionable.

Matta police officials said that they registered FIR against unidentified persons after the incident and started search operation in collaboration with CTD in the area.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2020