Elders’ help sought for getting militiamen released
PESHAWAR: The political administration has asked elders of the Frontier Region Peshawar to help the government to recover by Monday the 23 personnel of Levies kidnapped by the Taliban on Thursday.
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan’s Darra Adamkhel faction claimed responsibility for killing the two militiamen and kidnapping 23 others.
Official sources said the militants had overrun and destroyed three checkposts at Koi Hassan Khal and Jina Kor areas and killed and kidnapped the militia personnel.
Assistant Political Agent Naveed Akbar Khan told this reporter that the matter was discussed with a jirga of 18 elders.
“We asked Malaks that being elders of the semi-tribal region they should fulfil their responsibilities and help the government recover the kidnapped militiamen,” he said, adding that it was the duty of the people to find out where the militiamen were being kept.
He said the elders had promised to help the government in its efforts to rescue the militiamen who were related to them and they could not remain neutral in the matter.
Taliban also set on fire a truck used by the personnel and took away a pick-up.
A local resident said people of the area were in a state of shock and were worried about the safety of the kidnapped personnel.
He said people could not speak against Taliban because of fear of retribution but at the same time they could not refuse to cooperate with the administration.
Source said that earlier an anti-Taliban lashkar had been formed in the area to stop the movement of militants but members of the lashkar had to pay a heavy price and many people lost their relatives in bomb blasts and other acts of terror.
“We had given a message to Taliban to avoid using our area for carrying out attacks in Peshawar, but in retaliation they started killing our people,” a resident said on condition of anonymity. He said two bomb blasts carried out by Taliban in Mattani area left several civilians dead and injured.
Besides, he said, Taliban had also attacked a van carrying schoolchildren from a private school of Peshawar to the semi-tribal region. The attack left several children dead and injured and the only reason for the attack was that their elders had formed the peace lashkar.
“We have stopped acting against militants because our families are vulnerable to Taliban attacks,” another resident said. He revealed that Taliban had established links with local people who were working as their informers.
The Thursday’s attack, he said, could not be carried out without the support of local informers of Taliban.