Operation likely in Bara as talks make no headway
LANDI KOTAL, Nov 4: The authorities decided to launch a military operation in Bar Qambarkhel area of Bara, however, local elders were engaged in extensive consultations to avert the action, sources said.
Sources privy to the consultations, spearheaded by MNA Hamidullah Jan Afridi, said that no headway was made till late on Sunday as some of the Bar Qambarkhel elders were reluctant to furnish guarantees with the security forces about the conduct of Amr Bil Maroof Wa Nahi Anil Munkir, a Bar Qambarkhel-based banned group.
The Bar Qambarkhel elders were scheduled to meet in Bara on Saturday but they were denied entry to the area on security grounds. Later the venue of the meeting was shifted to Peshawar.
Sources said that the meeting discussed on Sunday threadbare the four demands of the government that included handing over of wanted men, expelling Afghan clerics from the area, closing down torture cells and furnishing guarantees about the good conduct of the banned group. “The meeting could not reach a consensus regarding a mutually agreed response to the government with regards to the four demands,” source said.
The government has set November 5 as a deadline for Bar Qambarkhel elders to accept its demands or vacate the area so that a military operation can be launched.
Sources said that a comprehensive strategy had been chalked out to respond to the situation if Bara elders failed to respond to the official demands in affirmative.
Political Agent Mutahir Zeb declined to comment on the issue despite repeated efforts made by this scribe.
Sources said that despite closure of all entry and exit points of Bar Qambarkhel, a number of suspected militants managed to flee the area. They said that militants started assembling in Renay-Parchao area of Afghanistan, a small village on the bank of the Kabul River just across the border in Loe Shalman area.
Meanwhile, local chapter of Jamaat-i-Islami has threatened to stage a sit-in outside Governor’s House in Peshawar if a military operation was launched in Bar Qambarkhel area of Bara.
In a statement issued here on Sunday, Shah Faisal Afridi, the local chief of JI, said that the ongoing operation in different parts of Bara had already displaced thousands of people. Another operation in Bar Qambarkhel would add to the miseries of people of Bara, he added.
Mr Afridi accused MNA Hamidullah Jan of not handling the situation effectively. He said that all tribal elders of Bara should be included in the process of negotiations.
STUDENT KILLED: A scuffle between players of two rival football teams resulted in the killing of a school student in Landi Kotal on Sunday.
Sources said that the players clashed with each other over the issue of a substitute player at Government High School Ground.
Ihsan Khan, a 10-year-old student of a private school, was hit in the head by a rock during the scuffle. He was taken to local hospital in critical condition where he died of excessive bleeding.