Measures to be taken for safe travelling on Thall-Parachinar Road: Malik assures National Assembly
ISLAMABAD (April 16, 2011) : Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday assured National Assembly that all efforts would be taken to ensure safe travelling on Thall-Parachinar Road, as lawmakers expressed concerns over the repeated terror incidents as well as killing and kidnapping of tribesmen by the militants.
The minister was responding to a call attention notice moved by MNAs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, Sajid Hussain Turi, Zafar Beg Bhittani and others pertaining to rising attacks on passengers' vehicles in Parachinar, Kurram Agency by terrorists and killing of innocent people.
Malik said that the issue of Parachinar was very serious and the government was well aware of the problems being faced by the locals. He said that after the unprecedented efforts by parliamentarians and elders of the various tribes, a truce was brokered as per the aspirations of local communities, which was unfortunately sabotaged by the Taliban.
He said that under the agreement the main Thall-Parachinar road was re-opened for the passengers' vehicles after about three years despite the fact the security forces opposed it due to fear of terror attacks. The Interior Minister, however, assured the House that all measures would be taken including the security forces' escort to the passengers to avoid terror incidents.
To a question, he said that the government had asked Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to make arrangements to expend the local airport in Parachinar for the landing of big planes so that an alternate travel facility could be provided to the local people.
Referring to the March 26 incident of killing and kidnapping of tribesmen by the terrorists, Malik said that he had asked the FC high ups in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to investigate the matter, besides urging them to provide adequate security to the passengers travelling on the Thall-Parachinar road. To another question, he said that Taliban were behind the attack on the passengers, who were targeting people of a particular tribe.
Speaking on the call attention notice, Farah Asfahani of the PPP was of the opinion that the incidents taken place in Parachinar were different to that being happened in rest of the country. She said that the local community was trapped in the area for the last three to four years and they were compelled to travel to Afghanistan for purchase daily use items. She further said that the government should come up with concrete long-term measures to stop the day to day terror incidents.
Earlier, Qadri expressed grave concern over the repeated terror incidents on the road and asked the government to undertake necessary measures to provide security to the passengers' vehicles to halt the attacks. Zafar Beg Bhittani was of the view that it was the responsibility of the government to provide security to the people of the country, adding that closing the road due to fear of terror incidents was not the way out to the issue rather steps should be taken to implement the government's writ.