Nato convoys

Published August 8, 2012

WHILE the overland route for Nato convoys transporting supplies to Afghanistan through this country may have reopened last month after a seven-month closure, security of the convoys clearly remains an issue. On Monday an Afghan driver — part of such a convoy — was shot dead by suspected militants in Khyber Agency’s Jamrud Tehsil on the Peshawar-Torkham highway. This is reportedly the second attack in the area since the route reopened; the first occurred on July 24 in which a similar modus operandi was used by the attackers. Assailants on motorbikes ambushed the convoy, killing a driver. The shadowy Abdullah Azzam Brigade has claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack. Before the closure of the route convoys had also come under attack. But while previously vehicles were targeted by, for example, rockets fired at the containers, the past couple of incidents suggest a conscious effort is being made to kill or intimidate the drivers.

The main issue appears to be a lack of coordination between the different law-enforcement agencies active in the area. While police are responsible for law enforcement in the settled areas, khasadars and the Frontier Corps handle security in the tribal regions. It has been noted by some that the FC does not appear to be cooperating with the khasadars, while it is also true that the khasadars, made up of tribal recruits, don’t have the intelligence capabilities or resources to thwart militant attacks. Khasadars reportedly tried, and failed, to pursue the attackers in the latest ambush. Another view is that since the khasadars are local tribesmen, they may be reluctant about taking on the Taliban. In such a scenario, the FC should take the lead in providing security to the convoys in their journeys to and from Afghanistan. While the goods may be insured, the drivers have to pay with their lives. An effective, well-thought-out security plan is essential for the protection of the convoys and their drivers transiting through Torkham and Chaman, especially when the local Taliban have made it clear they will not spare them.

Opinion

Editorial

Election time
Updated 27 Jan, 2023

Election time

There are concerns whether the ECP will be sufficiently able to protect the integrity of elections if they are held under partisan governments.
SCO invite
27 Jan, 2023

SCO invite

THOUGH India’s invitation to Pakistan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation events in Goa later this ...
Call to arms
27 Jan, 2023

Call to arms

ONE way the state abdicates responsibility in Pakistan is by farming out its functions to the private sector. In ...
Nuclear miscalculations
26 Jan, 2023

Nuclear miscalculations

IF the claim of former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, that Pakistan and India came close to a nuclear exchange...
Exchange rate cap
26 Jan, 2023

Exchange rate cap

THE ‘management’ of the exchange rate by the State Bank, allegedly at the behest of the government, to ward off...
Fawad’s arrest
Updated 26 Jan, 2023

Fawad’s arrest

Does the state really need to fan public discontent in a period as fraught with uncertainty as this?