Monday, March 28, 2011

KP governor vows to restore peace in Kurram


Monday, March 28, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Khyber Pakhtun- khwa Governor Syed Barrister Masood Kausar on Sunday pledged to restore peace to the long-bleeding Kurram Agency by ensuring implementation of the Jirga decisions taken in Murree in 2008. 

The governor, who hails from Kohat, is greatly pained by the wave of terror attacks in recent days and abduction of unarmed civilians, including women and children, who were heading for Parachinar from Peshawar.

"This is intolerable and we are gathering facts about these violations of the peace accord. I have directed the concerned departments to get ready for .prompt action against the perpetrators hell-bent on triggering violence," the governor said during a chat with The News here. 

The elder brother of a leading poet, late Syed Ahmad Shah, popularly known as Ahmad Faraz, who assumed the office early last month, has witnessed at least two Kurram Agency-related terrorist attacks taking place since then and feels worried about the gory phenomenon.

Last Friday, some vans, on their way to Parachinar from Peshawar, were intercepted by a group of militants, who gunned down at least eight passengers and abducted over 40 persons, including children and women. About a week back, in a similar incident, militants had shot dead 11 persons belonging to Parachinar.

Explaining his strategy of restoration of peace in the restive region, he said being a law-minded person, he would give a full chance to the Murree accord, encouraging the peace-lovers while at the same time, going tough against the saboteurs. 

In reply to a question, he said that of course, the state writ was a big issue but even more sensitive was the spilling of blood of innocent citizens of Pakistan. "Life and human blood is very important and I am deeply concerned over the loss of human lives in these wanton acts of frenzy," the governor contended. 

When asked why in his view, the previous peace initiatives failed to bring peace to the region, housing over 0.5 million people, he declined to answer the question and said he would like to make maximum efforts for peace restoration. 

Former Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani, whom he replaced, had also failed to bring any significant improvement in the situation in the agency. 

About the lack of security at and around Thall-Parachinar Road, the main link between the under siege agency and rest of Pakistan, he said measures were being taken to make the road safe for travel and transportation of goods. 

The road has been mostly close due to increased militant activity for the last four years, which has resulted in acute shortage of medicines and daily use food items: prices of several kitchen items that are available there, are more than double. Moreover, routine life remains paralysed there. 

The truck and bus convoys, even in escort of security agencies, have been attacked and the militants have only targeted the unarmed persons, torched the food supplies and medicines. Two legislators of the agency, Munir Khan Orakzai and Sajid Hussain Turi have hardly got a chance to visit their constituencies after the general election.

The two MNAs are part of the treasury benches and feel sorry at the fact that it hardly took the government a few weeks to restore peace and crush the militants in Malakand but it has not been able to repeat that performance in the agency. 

Without elaborating, the governor said measures were being taken to encourage peace-loving people and to punish those who were found guilty of breach of the peace accord. 

The warring Bangash and Turi tribes had signed an agreement in Murree to work for peace and anyone found in violation of it, would be fined Rs60 million. However, the government is widely blamed for lack of security and not going strongly against the militants.

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