Four more killed ahead of Kurram ceasefire
PARACHINAR, May 25: The warring tribes of Shia and Sunni sects agreed to ceasefire in violence-ravaged Baleshkhel area of upper Kurram tribal region on Wednesday.
However, four more persons were killed and 18 others received injuries in the area before announcement of ceasefire.
To bring an end to clashes in different areas of the agency, the elders of Turi and Bangash tribes during a meeting with the political authorities and FC officials in Parachinar agreed to take urgent steps for a truce and restoration of lasting peace in the volatile tribal region.
The elders of six tribes of Ahle Sunnat had already declared a unilateral ceasefire in Sadda tehsil a day earlier.
Anjum-i-Farooqia president Fazal Qadir Orakzai, Qari Taj Mohammad and Abdul Karim told journalists that they had directed their men to hold fire even if armed men of rival Turi and Bangash tribes continued targeting them.
The Turi and Bangash tribes made a formal announcement of ceasefire after talks with the government authorities. The leaders of Shia community, Haji Yousaf Turi and MNA Sajid Turi, demanded of the government to take effective measures to end hostility between the warring tribes.
They promised to cooperate with security forces and administration in bringing durable peace to the restive region. "The war is imposed on us as the rival tribes target our men and properties without any provocation," they said.
They added that Kurram Agency could no more bear lawlessness and appropriate steps should be taken for exemplary peace in the region.
Political Agent Syed Musadiq Shah and FC officials welcomed the ceasefire by Turi and Bangash tribes and hoped the other side would also abide by the decision.
Later, a jirga led by MNA Sajid Turi left for Baleshkhel area to stop clashes by implementing the truce in letter and spirit. The FC personnel also started moving to Baleshkhel to take control of the area and ask warring tribes to vacate bunkers.
Before the ceasefire, four persons were killed and 10 others injured in Baleshkhel area. Eight members of Turi tribe were also injured in the clashes. The number of casualties reached to 26, including two militant commanders. The injuries were reported as 80 so far in the clashes started a few days ago.
Two persons were injured when a mortar shell fired by militants on populated area of Shalozan from hilltops hit a house. The wife of Zenath Bangash and another person sustained injuries in the attack. They were taken to a hospital in Parachinar in critical condition.
The educational institutions remained closed, affecting thousands of studnets in the region. The continued closure of Tall-Parachinar Road has also paralysed life in the restive region. The shortage of essential food items and life saving medicines has further aggravated the situation.