Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Kidnapped passengers untraced even after 73 days

Our correspondent
Monday, June 06, 2011
PARACHINAR: Thirty-two passengers who were kidnapped by armed militants from the Baggan area in Kurram Agency on March 25 couldn't be recovered even 73 days after the incident, tribal sources said on Sunday.

The passengers were on their way to Parachinar when unidentified persons kidnapped them. The sources said the security forces and a and tribal jirga that brokered the February 2011 peace agreement between the warring tribes in Kurram Agency were unsuccessful in securing the safe recovery of the hostages.

Local residents said the families of the kidnapped persons were passing through mental torture as no steps were being taken for the recovery of their near and dear ones. They lamented that several passengers were abducted and killed after the reopening of the Thall-Parachinar Road following the Islamabad agreement.


Unrest ignored: After adults fail, children try to melt hearts of stone

The Express Tribune

Unrest ignored: After adults fail, children try to melt hearts of stone

Published: June 7, 2011
Children from Parachinar peacefully called on the government to help them. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID
Over four dozen children orphaned by the militancy in Parachinar on Monday held a protest demonstration in front of the National Press Club in Islamabad to press the government to meet their demands.
Having seen their older kith and kin fail to influence the Government of Pakistan to help them, the little children, some barely knee-high, were holding banners and placards while chanting slogans like "Death to the Taliban".
"We cannot go home in our summer vacations because the Peshawar-Parachinar Road is closed and militants try to hurt people on the way home," said little Asghar Ali, who has lived in Rawalpindi for the last year-and-a-half. He said that his father was killed by the militants and his mother sent him here to attend school with his cousin. "I have not been home in more than one year," he said with tears in his eyes, "I miss my mother. I miss my brothers and sisters."
Asghar was not alone.
"I cannot go to home like my classmates and I am missing it so much," said Qaiser Ali, a fifth-grader.
"I don't know why the militants killed my father. He was a peaceful man. He loved me. He wanted me to go to school. Now I don't even have the money to pay my school fee," said Muhammad Irshad. He was upset that the government was not taking any action to help the people of Parachinar.
Muzamil Hussain, another little student, described the Taliban as "very brutal and cruel" while noting that they even killed women and children.
"They hate children!" he maintained.
The children appealed to the president, prime minister and the interior minister to take immediate steps for the safety and the security of people in the besieged area, as they already face a life of uncertainty due to the blocked road and threats posed by the Taliban.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2011.