PESHAWAR, April 12: Militants who were driven out by the military operations by Frontier Constabulary in the Frontier Region of Peshawar a year ago are returning to their old strongholds, official sources said.“Militants fleeing the ongoing operation in Tor Sapari area of FR Kohat have moved back to Maroofkhel, Tauda Cheena, Pakhi Parizi and Aka Khel areas bordering the Peshawar district, FR Peshawar and Khyber Agency,” said the sources.
They said the Taliban who were dislodged from their base camp in Pastawana village in FR Peshawar by Frontier Constabulary during 'spring cleaning operation' in February last year had fled to FR Kohat and Khyber Agency. The operation was supervised by late FC Commandant Safwat Ghayyur.
Officials said that militants returned to the area just after a few months and started target killing of pro-government elders and members of peace bodies in Bora and other villages owing to failure of political administration to maintain its writ there after the operation.
Sources said that most of the militants had shifted to FR Kohat and Khyber tribal region when government deployed FC in the area to keep vigil on movement of suspected people.
“In the recent past, when security forces launched operation against terrorists in Khyber Agency and FR Kohat, they again changed their locations and came to the border areas near Peshawar,” a source said.
He said that some close aides of Taliban leader Tariq Afridi, including Ikramullah and Bilal, were killed during the operation. “Now Taliban want to take revenge of their killing from law enforcement agencies in Peshawar,” he added. The security, he said, had been beefed up both in Peshawar and at the border area.
Officials at Matani police station, when contacted, said that they didn't have any such information. Police tightened security in the settled areas to check movement of terrorists, they said. However, sources in Adezai Qaumi Lashkar said that militants had come close to the area and that was why anti-Taliban volunteers had further stepped up their activities and performed night duties regularly.
“There may be 60 to 80 militants, who always change their positions,” Farman Khan, a lashkar volunteer, said.
He added if serious action against them was not taken they could target the activists of peace body and policemen.
“Flushing out terrorists is not so difficult if the law enforcement agencies properly devise strategy for hitting them hard in their hideouts of Pakhi Parezi areas of FR Peshawar,” he said.
He said that owing to suicide attack at the funeral of a woman on March 9 in Adezai, the volunteers were extremely tense, however, they were ready to sacrifice their lives for protection of people.
He asked government to take stern action against militants to eradicate them once for all and secure lives and properties of people.