Sunday, March 27, 2011

Attack on passengers: Kurram elders refuse to get national identity cards

Attack on passengers: Kurram elders refuse to get national identity cards

By Hussain Afzal | From the Newspaper
PARACHINAR, March 26: The elders of Turi and Bangash tribes in restive Kurram Agency have refused to get national identity cards and passports as a mark of protest against attack on passengers and kidnapping of their people on Thall-Parachinar Road.
The tribal elders said on Saturday that they would refuse to get national identity cards and passports unless the government lay a firm hand on the militants, involved in attack on passenger vehicles and kidnappings.
Three people were killed and two injured in an ambush near Baggan area in lower Kurram while over 45 people had gone missing after masked men attacked four mini-buses on the main road on Friday.
The residents of the area said that most of the people kidnapped by militants were members of Turi tribe.
Protest rallies were also taken out in Parachinar, the administrative headquarters of Kurram Agency, against the incidents of violence. The participants of the rallies chanted slogans against political administration. The protesters blocked roads and burnt tyres. The Thall-Parachinar Road, the only artery linking Kurram with the rest of the country, has been blocked after the incident.
Earlier, the elders refused to meet Inspector General of Frontier Corps Maj-Gen Nadir Zeb, who arrived here to discuss the post attack situation with the senior officials and notables of the area.
Sources said that political authorities arrested 24 people in Baggan under the collective territorial responsibility clause of Frontier Crimes Regulation.
The tribal elders told a joint press conference that their boycott would continue till acceptance of their demands. "The government should immediately recover all kidnapped people and arrest the culprits," said Yousuf Turi while addressing the press conference.
He said that they would neither meet government functionaries nor avail any incentive unless their main demands were accepted.
"We expect that government will take prompt action against militants failing which Turi and Bangash tribes themselves will take steps for their safety," he said, adding that they were being forced to take weapons in selfdefence.
He said that Turi and Bangash tribes would not violate the peace deal and give sufficient time to political administration. He said that 40 people had been kidnapped while five women and six children were set free on Friday evening.

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