PESHAWAR, Jan 5: Police have withdrawn all security guards from the heads of anti-Taliban Qaumi Lashkars of Badbher area in suburbs of Peshawar, describing them as inefficient to meet the target.

On the other hand, the peace bodies have decided to move the Peshawar High Court against the decision, saying they have lost many relatives, friends and volunteers in the war on terror and will become easy prey to militant attacks without guards.

“Besides a number of volunteers, I have also lost some of my close relatives, including a brother and brother-in-law, in the fight with Taliban and Lashkar-i-Islam and withdrawing the police guards meant to leave me alone victim to the terrorists,” Mukamil Shah, head of Tapa Mohmand peace body of Badbher, told Dawn on Saturday.

He said the volunteers of his peace body had been fighting against militants for past many years in the rural areas and rendered great sacrifices for securing Peshawar at a time when police could not patrol in many areas.

“The war on terror proved to be very dangerous for me as one of my cousin Aftab Sahar was kidnapped and then his slaughtered body was recovered from Shin Drang near Bara Tehsil of Khyber Agency. My brother, Haq Nawaz, was also killed by militants and another brother paralysed for life due to bullet injury,” he said.

Mr Shah said his people were in high spirit and would not lay down arms against Taliban even if the police guards were withdrawn because they loved their soil and would not allow any anti-state element in the areas.

“We have to live and die at our own villages and would not prefer to shift to any other safer place but government should not forget our sacrifices and at least review its decision regarding withdrawal of our guards,” he demanded.

Mr Shah said he was also joint secretary of Awami National Party Peshawar and had informed his leadership about the risk to his and workers lives but even then they did not pay any heed towards their request.

He said the people fought the war and still fighting with their own limited resources and the government despite commitment did not provide ration, financial support and ammunition to the volunteers.

The peace body head said the community police played very significant role in the war on terror and many of them had embraced martyrdom but government did not given them the Shuhda package (residential plots, Rs3 million etc) to their families like other policemen.

Similarly, head of Tilaband Qaumi Lashkar Ijaz Khan also alleged that the government had used them for the past about five years against Taliban and now let them alone before the merciless attackers.

He said a meeting of different peace bodies’ heads was held in Badbher on Saturday which decided to hold meetings with government officials including Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti, Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Deputy Speaker Khushdil Khan and local MPA Alamgir Khalil to apprise them of the current situation and get the guards back.

“In case our demands were not accepted then we have one option but to move Peshawar High Court for getting the security guards,” Mr Ijaz said and added that the government was yet to compensate the families of those killed and injured during support of police.

He said all peace bodies’ workers were ready to extend cooperation to the anti-polio teams and would provide protection to the vaccinators but government should also facilitate them.

The meeting, he said, was attended by Bazid Khel Qaumi Lashkar head Asif Khan, Tapa Mohmand peace body head Mukamil Shah, Shaikh Mohammadi peace body head Zar Mohammad, Suleman Khel peace body head Fida Mohammad, Masho Gagar peace body head Niaz Gul, Badbher peace body head Khan Mohammad, Mashokehl peace body head Israr Khan and others.

When contacted, senior police official and Rural Circle SP Mohammad Javaid Khan told Dawn that withdrawal of police guards from the people was a right decision and that police would replace these bodies very soon.

“Police have to patrol the whole night and workers of these peace bodies are even not seen on the spot of any occurrence,” the official said, adding that there were many influential people, who could be named as leaders of the peace bodies.

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