GHALANAI, July 30: Militants who had occupied a mosque and a shrine in the Lakaro area of the Mohmand Agency on Saturday night said on Monday that they were ready for talks with the government and elders of the area.

The self-proclaimed chief of the group, who introduced himself as Umar Khalid, told journalists that they would not impose sharia by force and would appeal to people to give up un-Islamic practices.

They warned of tit-for-tat response if the government took any action to dislodge them from the mosque.

“We will continue Ghazi Abdur Rashid’s mission even if it means sacrificing our lives,” said Umar Khalid.

Brandishing an AK-47 rifle, he said that owning a gun was a matter of honour, adding that it had been snatched from German troops in Afghanistan.

The militants wearing masks moved around waving rocket-launchers and long-range machine guns.Umar Khalid denied having links with Al Qaeda and Taliban, but said his people could not distance themselves from them. “If they (Taliban) come to us, we will welcome them,” he said. He claimed his group had more than 3,000 trained people who were ready to sacrifice their lives.

PPI adds: A grand tribal jirga in Mohammad Agency will assemble on Tuesday to discuss the situation arose after the occupation of Turangzai Babaji mosque by militants.

According to Mohmmand Agency political agent Said Ahmad, the jirga would be held in Ghalani.

Opinion

Editorial

Police excesses
13 Aug, 2022

Police excesses

EVER since Shahbaz Gill’s unwise words considerably complicated the PTI’s relationship with the establishment,...
Afghan cleric’s killing
13 Aug, 2022

Afghan cleric’s killing

THAT a suicide bomber belonging to the self-styled Islamic State group managed to target a senior Taliban cleric in...
No room for hockey
13 Aug, 2022

No room for hockey

THERE have been accusations and clarifications as the blame game rumbles on. Yet despite workers of the PTI ...
Militancy redux
Updated 12 Aug, 2022

Militancy redux

There is fear and confusion all around, and it is for the state to bring clarity to the situation.
Distorting history
12 Aug, 2022

Distorting history

WHEN history is co-opted by ideologically overzealous elements, expect the facts to die a quick death, and...
Dengue danger
12 Aug, 2022

Dengue danger

WITH rains continuing across most of the country, a dengue outbreak can quickly become a major headache for health...