PESHAWAR, Dec 30: The people of Parachinar have to go to Peshawar via Kabul because of continued blockade of the main routes connecting the violence-hit Kurram Agency with other parts of the country.
One Shafiullah Khan of Parachinar, told this correspondent that he had to cross into Khost province of Afghanistan and then proceed to Kabul for an onward journey to Peshawar. “I paid Rs9,000 to my Afghan guide who facilitated me from Khost to Kabul and then Jalalabad city,” said the youngster who had to catch a flight to Kuwait from Peshawar.
Inhabitants of parts of Kurram Agency, about 280km west of Peshawar, have been cut off from the rest of the country since Nov 16 because of blockade of roads by rival factions.
Sources said people of the area were mulling different options, including seeking assistance from the Afghan government, to cope with the situation. “If we feel that Islamabad deliberately ignores the situation, we will think over other options,” said an elder of the area.
“We believe that the government will pay attention to the situation and the quarters concerned will fulfil their responsibilities,” he maintained.
Pilgrims, students and professionals were forced to take the risk of coming to Peshawar through Afghan territory without visas, the sources said.
People of the region are also relying on Afghanistan to get medicines, food and fuel.
The government is using helicopters to dispatch medicines and evacuate stranded people from Parachinar.
A resident said that the price of an 80kg flour sack was Rs2 ,600 in and around the city, which has been under curfew since Nov 16.
The clashes that left over 200 people dead have thrown the area into total chaos, causing acute shortage of basic commodities. Banks, educational institutions, bazaars and offices have been closed for the past 45 days and government employees have not been paid salaries since November.
A local leader said the administration should launch a full-scale operation against miscreants.