MANSEHRA: Protesters from Kohistan blocked the Karakoram Highway on Friday to protest the federal government’s punitive action against Hazara Division police officers over a failure to prevent a terrorist attack on Chinese nationals last month.

“Unfortunately, the incident has happened in neighbouring Shangla district [but] deputy inspector general of police Hazara and district police officers of Upper and Lower Kohistan have been suspended and facing inquiries,” Maulana Khairun Nas told protesters who blocked Karakoram Highway at RMB Chowk in Lower Kohistan.

Led by Maulana Wali Jan Tohidee, residents of Upper Kohistan also took to the streets and blocked the Karakoram Highway in Kamila bazaar. The protesters blocked strategic artery to traffic at both points for about two hours.

They raised slogans against the federal government, which they said had failed to take action against those who had actually failed to check the subversive attack on the Chinese nationals’ convoy in Bisham, and instead suspended the DIG Hazara, and district police officers of both Upper Kohistan and Lower Kohistan districts.

Locals say incident occurred in Shangla, which is outside suspended officials’ jurisdiction

“We strongly condemn such cowardly attack on Chinese at KKH in Shangla, but at the same time declare the federal government action against Hazara police illogical and discriminatory,” Maulana Khairun Nas said.

He and other speakers also lashed out at Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, saying that while he consoled the families of Chinese nationals, he allegedly ignored the family of a Kohistani driver who also lost his life in the attack.

“We want the [martyr’s] financial package for the Kohistani driver’s family. If the government doesn’t announce such an incentive for the bereaved family, we will continue our protest,” Maulana Khairun Nas said.

Another speaker, Maulana Mufti Raheemdad, said that the government should immediately bring to justice police officers of the Malakand Division, as the gruesome subversive activity occurred in their jurisdiction and all police officers of Hazara Division should be restored to their positions without any further delay.

So far, no banned outfit has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack. However, sources said a faction of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakis­tan was involved.

A joint investigation committee has also been constituted by the prime minister.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Debt trap
Updated 30 May, 2024

Debt trap

The task before the government is to boost its tax-to-GDP ratio to the global average by taxing the economy’s untaxed and undertaxed sectors.
Foregone times
30 May, 2024

Foregone times

THE past, as they say, is a foreign country. It seems that the PML-N’s leadership has chosen to live there. Nawaz...
Margalla fires
30 May, 2024

Margalla fires

THE Margalla Hills — the sprawling 12,605-hectare national park — were once again engulfed in flames, with 15...
First steps
Updated 29 May, 2024

First steps

One hopes that this small change will pave the way for bigger things.
Rafah inferno
29 May, 2024

Rafah inferno

THE level of barbarity witnessed in Sunday’s Israeli air strike targeting a refugee camp in Rafah is shocking even...
On a whim
29 May, 2024

On a whim

THE sudden declaration of May 28 as a public holiday to observe Youm-i-Takbeer — the anniversary of Pakistan’s...