Daily Times

 Tuesday, February 10, 2009

14 abducted from Hangu in January

By Manzoor Ali Shah

PESHAWAR: At least 14 persons were kidnapped during the month of January from Hangu district of NWFP, security officials in Peshawar told Daily Times on Monday.

The officials said that 10 of them were abducted from the limits of Doaba Police Station, three from Tull and one from Hangu Police Station’s jurisdiction during the past one month.

The kidnapped persons were from both Shia and Sunni communities. One of them, Asif, was the Awami National Party (ANP) Naryab area’s president while the kidnappers also managed to abduct Noor Rehman, brother of former Hangu nazim and former provincial minister Ghaniur Rehman, along with his driver on January 26. Besides, three policemen were also kidnapped on January 6.

According to local sources, militants lifted around 35 Mushtikhel tribesmen from Shahukhel area of the district on charges of spying for government, working for NGOs and others. Some of the abducted tribesmen have returned to their homes while others are still being held by militants of Orakzai Agency after they were presented before militant courts in the agency. Mushtikhel tribe belongs to Orakzai Agency, but some of its members are settled in Shahukhel area.

On Friday, militants in Kutch Union Council of Hangu district announced ban on women’s coming out of their homes for household chores and ordered them to strictly observe purdah (veil).

The officials said that at least 31 people were killed while 38 others injured during sectarian clashes that sparked in the district after security agencies enforced curfew and city was handed over to army on the request of district administration due to fear of terrorist activities during Muharram (January).

The city though remained peaceful during Muharram as no procession was taken out, but after that a mob coming from Kohat clashed with security forces following which, clashes spread to the city that resulted in 31 deaths.

The officials said that the sole reason of sectarian tension in the area is a road, through which a Muharram procession passes.

“The bazaar lies in the Sunni area who are not ready to allow passage of any procession through the bazaar, while the Shias are also not ready to change the route of the procession despite efforts by the administration,” they said.

They further said that main reason of growing lawlessness is the presence of criminals and militants in the district, who have not only made the life difficult for public, but also are attacking security forces.

Hangu district shares borders with two tribal agencies – Orakzai Agency in the north and Kurram Agency in the northwest, and with the no-go area of Karak district in south, spreading from Gurguri to Laachi.

Tull, Darsmand, Naryab, Zarguri, and Doaba areas of the troubled district are situated close to Orakzai and Lower Kurram tribal agencies, while Shahukhel area of the district is situated close to Upper Orakzai Agency. The local sources said that militants and criminals slip into tribal areas after kidnapping people from Hangu due to close proximity of tribal areas.

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source: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20092\10\story_10-2-2009_pg7_40

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