ISLAMABAD / KURRAM: As two more people lost their lives on Monday in the ongoing fighting over a piece of land, elders and residents of Parachinar criticised state institutions for what they called their failure in preventing the movement of “terrorists” from Afghanistan.

They said these elements had not only damaged the border fence, but were also repeatedly attacking civilian population in Kurrum district.

The clashes, which started four days ago in the Boshehra Dandar area, has claimed nine lives so far and are spreading to other areas including Khar Kallay, Baleshkhel, Pewar, Gidu, Teri Mengal, Karman Para Chamkani, Maqbal and Kunj Alizai.

At least 42 people on both sides have been injured.

Govt accused of looking other way as ‘terrorists’ enter from Afghanistan; minister promises ceasefire to be brokered immediately

People in the affected areas are facing a shortage of food items, medicine and fuel due to the blockade of roads. Educational institutions have been closed and normal life has also been hit.

Allama Amin Shaheedi, who accompanied the residents of Parachinar, told a news conference at the National Press Club Islamabad, that terrorism in Kurram had resurged only because the culprits had not been punished in the past.

“This indicates that intentions [of the authorities] were not right,” he said. “The same mistake that the authorities now admit Pakistan made decades ago is being repeated by having relaxed their stance towards terrorists and extremists.”

He regretted that authorities had not even bothered to listen to the tribal elders of both Shia and Sunni communities.

He added, “We request the relevant authorities to stop the terrorists from damaging the border fence and their illegal entry to Pakistan from Afghanistan, and bring the terrorists to justice”.

“The authorities should listen to political and community leaders of Kurrum district belonging to all tribes and sects,” he stressed.

Talking to media in the area, Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sajid Turi said he came to the district to make efforts for ensuring an immediate ceasefire between the warring factions. He said no one will be allowed to disturb peace and all issues will be resolved amicably through dialogue.

He called upon the federal and provincial governments to play their role in bringing the fighting to an end. He wondered why “miscreants” had resorted to firing despite a truce had been declared in the affected areas.

A local leader of Parachinar, Shabbir Sajid said people of Parachinar had suffered since the mid-1980s as the handlers of ‘Afghan jihad’ wanted to create a free zone for fighters to be launched into Afghanistan.

He claimed that declared terrorists and criminals belonging to the Mangal tribe were involved in recent attacks at four locations in Kurram. He said it was not a sect-based conflict, rather a pre-planned move by the banned TTP with the support of Lashkar-i-Jhangvi absconders.

“However, the question is where is the FC and why are not they listening to Sunni elders of Kurram area,” he added.

Mohammad Hussain Turi, a social activist in Kurram, said the whole scene has been created to place hurdles in the way of Kurrum Land Commission which has to finalise land records before the onset of winters.

Talking to media, political and social figures Haji Jameel Hussain, Dr Muzamal Hussain and Mir Afzal Khan Turi alleged that the administration was playing the role of silent spectator due to which a land dispute between two families is turning into a communal and sectarian issue.

However, Deputy Commissioner Kur­ram Syed Saiful Islam Shah and District Police Officer Muhammad Imran said efforts were being made in collaboration with tribal chiefs for restoration of peace.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2023

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