May 8, 2023
By Maryam Missal
Members of the Turi-Bangash tribe on Sunday, May 7, staged a protest in the Kurram district of Parachinar, demanding justice for the murder of seven Turi-Bangash Sunni tribesmen in a firing incident on May 4.
The killings were in retaliation for the murder of a Gedu villager the same day (May 4) near the Shalozan area of Kurram district.
Five of the seven deceased Turi-Bangash tribesmen were teachers, who were gunned down in the examination hall of the Teri Mangal Government High School.
Initial reports claimed that the incident came about as a result of a land dispute between the Bangash, who are Sunni, and the Turi-Bangash, who are Shia. However, Turi-Bangash tribal leaders have denied these claims and further stated in a press release that the killings are being misrepresented in the media and by the government. Locals instead claim that the murders were a hate crime.
According to Sajid Hussain Turi, Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and a member of the Turi tribe stated that the attack was intended to disrupt the district’s peace.
Details regarding the incident remain foggy due to the sensitivity of the news and the information gap in the area.
The history of tribal rivalry is centuries old in the region due to the sectarian difference between Turi and Bangash tribes. The Turi, who are Shia, and Shia Bangash predominantly populate the Pewar area of Kurram District.
In 2021, 21 tribesmen lost their lives over a dispute regarding the felling of trees for fuel near Pewar.
In November 2022, by decree of a local jirga, residents of Pewar villages were permitted to cut down trees outside Gedu Moazzah away from the site of the murder of the 21 tribesmen.
Furthermore, it was also decided that the land would be demarcated by revenue records. The decision was not welcomed by the opposing tribe in Gedu Moazzah, and the matter was left unresolved.
Cases of violence are alarmingly high in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and cases of militant violence and tribal rivalry are reported from the region. The rise of violence in the region can be noted with the resurgence of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
Peshawar experienced the deadliest attack earlier this year, for which the TTP claimed responsibility. The accessibility of weaponry in the region has been made a lot easier since the beginning of the Taliban’s government in Afghanistan.