July 24, 2020
By Our Correspondent
The latest bombing that hit Parachinar Town has triggered anger and fear among the locals of the city with the re-emergence of violence in the area.
Parachinar is the capital city of Kurram District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been battered by sectarian violence for the last couple of years. Hundreds of people have been killed in armed clashes between various groups over this time.
The recent bombing happened on Thursday in the busy Turi market injuring 17 people. According to the police, the explosives’ device was fitted in a pushcart.
Soon after the bombing, residents, religious and social activists reached the Turi market and started a protest against the incident.
The angry protesters clashed with the law enforcement agencies (LEAs), and pelted stones on the military, forcing them to leave the area. A video clip recorded on a mobile phone showed the angry protesters running after the law enforcers while chanting slogans.
“We demand peace,” shouted a protester, who had been chanting slogans against the government. “We are against this kind of state-supported terrorism.”
The protesters marched to the Parachinar Press Club and staged a sit-in against this fresh wave of terror incidents.
Meanwhile, the police and other law enforcers cordoned off the incident spot and cleared the area.
“Some elements want to disturb the peaceful environment of the city by fueling sectarian violence,” a local resident told Voicepk.net over the phone, on condition of anonymity. “Actually there is a land dispute issue here and such incidents have been happening so that the Shia population here comes under pressure,” he said.
He says that locals handed over 50 Taliban militants to the police about six months ago but they have all been released. But he added that local leaders of the Sunni community had also joined the sit-in for some time and had condoled and expressed their anger and grief over the terrorist attack.
He also said that the Taliban militants have been returning to the area from neighboring Afghanistan and other areas and as a result of this, violent incidents have increased in recent months.
A local leader while addressing the participants of the sit-in blamed the government for a recent spike in terror activities. He said that the government and law enforcers were not taking any interest to maintain the peaceful environment of the district.
“During the last few months, many bomb blasts happened in Parachinar but law enforcers failed to arrest a single person involved in the terror activities,” he said, demanding that the government must unmask the faces involved in this militancy.
He said that the people of Parachinar have lost too many of their loved ones to violence and militancy, adding that now they will not remain quiet anymore.
“We are peace-loving people and therefore we want to have peace in our region,” he said.
He added that it was third terrorist activity in Kurram, a Shia dominated tribal district, during the last three months. Zahid Hussain, a local leading the protest told that they have ended the sit-in on the assurances of the government and MNA Sajid Turi.
He added that they were demanding the government to launch proper investigations into the fresh wave of militancy. “Such incidents create fear among locals as they suffered a lot due to sectarian violence in the area”, Hussain said.