PESHAWAR: Reacting to the killing of at least 18 people in the Sepah area of Bara on Tuesday allegedly by security forces, enraged tribesmen from different localities of the tribal region brought coffins of 15 of the dead to the provincial capital and started a sit-in outside the Governor’s House on Wednesday. Talking to reporters, relatives of the deceased narrated the chilling account of people in army uniform entering their residences and firing which left 18 people killed. “I had gone to the factory to work there when the killers entered my home on Tuesday morning and killed my grandfather, two brothers, two uncles and a cousin. My brothers worked as labourers in the same factory and were resting at home having worked in night shift,” said Jawed Afridi. He alleged that after the gruesome incident, they were not allowed to enter their residences to pick the bodies. A 16-member committee headed by Senator Nasir Khan and Maqbali Afridi held talks with Governor Barrister Masood Kausar till late in the night. Some of their demands include: Ending military operation in Bara (Khyber Agency), lifting of the four-year curfew and opening of Bara Bazaar, providing a shuhada package to the victims, holding of an impartial judicial inquiry into the incident and punishing the army officials responsible, and registering a case against the Inspector General of Frontier Corps. Dawn, The News, The Nation, Daily Times, The Express Tribune, Daily Mashriq.
ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has taken immediate notice of the demonstration by protesters from Khyber Agency who are staging a protest in front of the Governor’s House Peshawar over the killing of their loved ones the other day. Speaking to the Governor Kyber Pakhtunkhwa, Barrister Masood Kausar over telephone, the Prime Minister directed him to engage the elders and the grievances of the protesters. The Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assured the Prime Minister that he would submit a report promptly after discussing it with the affected people and put up recommendation for decision of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister said that all necessary assistance and cooperation would be extended by the federal government for early resolution of this unfortunate incident. He asked the Governor to convey his personal pain, grief and condolences to the bereaved families. The Nation, Daily Times.
NEW YORK: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has said that whoever calls the Haqqani network ‘an asset for Pakistan’ did not represent the Pakistani government.She further said that Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani did not hold such opinions in the present circumstances.The foreign minister was addressing a discussion titled “Pakistan’s Democratic Journey” held by Asia Society, a renowned think-tank, in New York on Tuesday evening. The discussion was moderated by a political columnist of Time, a weekly magazine in the United States.The moderator asked Khar about an interview given by General Kayani to the New York Times four years ago in which he allegedly stated that he considered the Haqqani network an “asset” for Pakistan.In response, Khar she did not know who had said it, adding that whoever calls the Haqqani network an asset to Pakistan could not be a representative of the Pakistani government. The Nation.
GHALANAI: Another child has died of measles while several others have been affected by the epidemic in the remote areas of Haleemzai tehsil of Mohmand Agency. The three-year-old daughter of Hamzal Khan belonged to the Mell village, taking the death toll from the disease to four in the Haleemzai tehsil in two weeks. Residents of Babi Khel village complained that up till now no health team had visited the area. However, when contacted agency surgeon Dr Dawood Khan told Dawn that he had visited the affected areas in Haleemzai and ordered vaccination of the children. Dawn, The News.
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government will utilise Rs600 million through parent-teacher councils to provide basic facilities to state-run schools in six districts of the province, according to officials. After successful execution of ‘conditional grant project for improving basic facilities at government primary schools for girls’ in two backward districts Buner and Dera Ismail Khan, the scheme has been extended to four other districts including Karak, Nowshera, Haripur and Lakki Marwat. Officials said that parent-teacher councils (PTCs) completed more work than the target set to them by the elementary and secondary education department during the pilot project launched in 2011 in Buner and Dera Ismail Khan. They said that the two districts were selected for the pilot project on the basis of low literacy rate and poor social and economic indications. They said that for the pilot project 201 government primary schools for girls — 103 in D.I. Khan and 98 in Buner — were selected for providing basic facilities. Dawn.
ISLAMABAD: While Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) abstained, quite surprisingly, from claiming responsibility for the January 13 remote-controlled road-side bomb attack in North Waziristan which killed 17 Pakistani soldiers, despite reports of a clandestine peace deal between the military and the militants, an obscure Waziristan-based Uzbek militant group has come forward and owned up to the attack, thus absolving the TTP. It was rather strange on the part of the TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan not to claim responsibility for a terrorist attack which had targeted the Pakistani soldiers and that too in Miramshah area of North Waziristan, a TTP hub. The security forces’ convoy was attacked two weeks after 22 Levis personnel were beheaded by the TTP (on December 27, 2012) which had claimed the bloody act. Therefore, it was quite unusual for the TTP to stay silent after the killing of 17 soldiers in North Waziristan in a terrorist attack. The News.
CHARSADDA: Militants destroyed a police checkpost in the limits of Sro Killay Police Station here on Wednesday, official sources said. The sources said that militants had placed explosives near a checkpost in Zarif Koroona in the limits of Sro Killay Police Station and triggered the explosion with a remote-controlled device, destroying the post. However, no casualty was reported in the blast as the cops were on patrol in the area. Meanwhile, unknown persons hurled a hand-grenade into the house of one Qadim Khan, damaging a portion of the house without causing any human loss. The News.
MINGORA: The security forces recovered and defused explosive material in Kanjo Township on Wednesday, official sources said.The sources said that the security forces recovered explosive material in Kanjo Township in Kabal tehsil during a search. A huge blast was heard when the explosives were being defused which caused panic among the residents. The News.
KHYBER AGENCY: Measles has erupted in most parts of Khyber Agency and the disease has gripped dozens of persons in tehsils Landi Kotal and Jamrud, locals said on Wednesday. The disease after its spread has turned epidemic and taken its roots in every village, the local people said. Kaleem, hailing from Zargran Kaley of station area in Landi Kotal, holding his one-year old daughter to get her vaccined against measles at the vaccination centre, said that four children in our family have infected with measles beside with 25 others in our neighbouring village, Mabi Khel. The Nation.
PESHAWAR: Unidentified men shot dead an Afghan prayer leader in the Banda Shiekh Ismail area of Akbarpura, police said on Wednesday. Abdul Malik, an Afghan scholar and prayer leader, was on his way to the mosque for Fajar prayers when unidentified assailants opened fire on him. He died on the spot. App Daily Times.
LANDIKOTAL: Prolonged power outages on daily basis in Landikotal tehsil bazzar of Khyber Agency has plunged the routine life in darkness and has been causing million of rupees losses to the business community of the area. Ironically people use to buy water from water tankers, while the prices of daily usage commodities are sky rocketing which are not affordable for the poor masses. Gas cylinders, fire wood and kerosene oil have disappeared from bazaar and all machinery including tube wells, pumps running by electricity are no more functional. Shopkeepers said that they have set aside their electricity running machines. Dozens of shopkeepers have closed their shops and are planning to shift their shops to the settle areas of KPK. Several shopkeepers while talking to this scribe said that their businesses have been badly affected and were compelled to wind up their businesses to save their capital. They alleged that officials have turned a deaf ear to their problems. “If situation doesn’t come under control in the coming days, about fifty percent shops would be closed in Landikotal bazzar which would increase the worries of the general masses “, Ajmal Khan, a customer said.
One the other hand, for the first time in the history of Landikotal, hundreds of tribal women have founded a ten-member committee in Shekhmal Khel area who gather money by conducting charities in the villages to buy high capacity generators for tube wells. A woman in Shekhmalkhel village, requesting anonymity, told FRC reporter that they have so far accumulated 0.2 million rupees for the said purpose. The committee is mostly represented by aged women who have been entrusted with the duty of collecting money from houses in the area. The woman flayed Tesco and the officials of Landikotal administration as they miserably failed in providing at least six hours electricity to the inhabitants of the area.
NAWAF KHAN, SHARAFAT ALI CHAUDHARY