KURRAM: Clashes between two tribes over a dispute on the ownership of land in Kurram tribal district left five people dead and 24 injured as exchange of heavy fire continued on the second day, police and hospital sources said.
Dr Mumtaz Hussain, deputy medical superintendent of district headquarters hospital in Parachinar, on Monday confirmed death of five people in the clashes. He said that 24 people received bullet injuries.
An official said that three of the killed people belonged to Balishkhel and two hailed from Para Chamkani.
Officials and local elders had negotiated ceasefire on Sunday evening between the warring tribes but they disregarded it and resumed fighting. Internet service has been suspended and continuous firing has also affected flow of traffic on main Thall-Parachinar Highway, which passes through Balishkhel area.
Deputy Commissioner Shah Fahed said that efforts were underway to reinforce ceasefire in the area.
Officials said that several people were arrested. The clashes between the residents of Balishkhel and Para Chamkani in lower subdivision of Kurram broke out over ownership of Shamilat or community land on Sunday when the former started construction activities there. Reports said that both the groups were using heavy weapons to target each other.
The residents of Balishkhel claimed that inhabitants of Para Chamkani were encroaching upon their Shamilat land near Sadda town and started illegal construction on the disputed land. They said that the administration was helpless to demolish the illegal structures despite the verdict of a local court.
On the other hand Ihsanullah, an elder of Para Chamkani, claimed that settlers purchased the land and signed affidavits with the real owners.
He said that the dispute over Shamilat land could be resolved through local custom and jirga.
Haji Saleem Khan, an elder of Sadda, said that government should settle land disputes among local tribes in Kurram district through land record and existing customs.
It is pertinent to mention here that Kurram tribal district has authentic and documented land settlement record designed by the Colonial rulers before partition.
Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2020