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Restoration of peace in Parachinar rally in Australia on Tuesday

03/10/2009 11:00:00

Islamabad, The ‘Restoration of Peace in Parachinar’ rally will be taken out on October 6. It would be held at 4 Timbarra Crescent, O’Nalley ACT 2606, which is the Pakistan’s High Commission in Canberra.

It will proceed to the United Nation office, R.G Gasey Building John Mc Ewen Crescent Barton, ACT, 0221, Australia, says a press release received here on Saturday.It said the rally would be organized by the Parachinar Shia Community Australia. The aim and objectives of this rally is to draw attention of Government of Pakistan, the international community, international organizations and media to the extra ordinarily atrocious situation of Parachinar located in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan.

It is vital to mention that this catastrophic situation in Parachinar is much worse than the Gaza situation. The notorious cruel Taliban and their local extremist supporters have killed more than eight hundred (800) innocent Shia Muslims in Parachinar and its surrounding areas. Most importantly these Taliban and their supporters have been blocked all the surrounding routes to Parachinar since April 6, 2007, which has caused intense humanitarian crises in the area. There is a constant blockage of the innocent Shia population in Parachinar and a huge number of people, most of them are women and children, have been died due to the absence of the medical facilities and lack of food in the area.

SOURCE: http://www.onepakistan.com/news/local/islamabad/22000-Restoration-peace-Parachinar-rally-Australia-Tuesday.html



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Elders urge forces not to target civilians
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Our correspondent

PARACHINAR: The elders of six local tribes Wednesday urged the army not to target the innocent people in central Kurram Agency on the basis of information provided by rival groups.

Addressing a press conference, the tribal elders including Saifullah Khan, Malik Mangal, Malik Abdul Aziz, Malik Gul Badshah, Malik Mir Akbar, Malik Muzaffar and Malik Badshah Khan claimed that innocent people fell victim to the shelling by gunship helicopters in Masozai area. They said the residents of central Kurram Agency neither challenged the writ of the government nor they had blocked the Parachinar Road.

The tribal elders said the six tribes living in central Kurram Agency were fully abiding by the Murree peace agreement brokered by former political agent Azam Khan a year ago. They alleged that the gunship helicopters on Wednesday injured fours innocent residents of Masozai area and damaged four vehicles. They said their rivals were trying to mislead the army against the patriotic citizens of Kurram and demanded a halt to what they called bombing on innocent people.



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Four hurt in Kurram shelling
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Our correspondent

PARACHINAR: Four alleged militants were injured in shelling by the gunship helicopters in the central Kurram Agency on Wednesday.Tribal sources said following the information about the entry of the militants into Kurram Agency from Suzai and Tapo areas of Orakzai Agency, the security forces pounded the hideouts in the central part of Kurram Agency. Four alleged militants were reportedly injured in the shelling.




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Afghan security for Kurram passengers

By Inamullah Khattak
Wednesday, 30 Sep, 2009 | 06:35 AM PST

RAWALPINDI, Sept 29: In a bid to win the hearts and minds of tribesmen of Pakistan, the Afghan government on Tuesday provided security to a convoy of the people of Kurram Agency while going to Peshawar.

The people of Parachinar prefer to use Afghan routes while going to other parts of Pakistan. The Tall-Parachinar road, which is the shortest route connecting Kurram with other parts of the country, has been occupied by militants for two years.

Thousands of tribesmen of Parachinar who live in other parts of the country could not celebrated Eidul Fitr with their families this year due to the closure of the road and most of those who tried to travel to their homes via Afghan routes were either killed or kidnapped by militants, mostly in the Paktika province of Afghanistan.

This is for the first time that the Afghan government provided formal security to passengers of the Kurram Agency while using Afghan routes for entering Pakistan.

About 400 tribesmen of the Kurram Agency on Tuesday gathered at the Burki border and started journey in a large convoy guarded by the Afghan army and were accompanied to the Torkham border.

“We will never forget the help of the Afghan government for safely escorting us to Torkham border. Our family members have been brutally killed by militants. But now we are safe while using Afghan routes,” Nazakat Ali, a passenger, told Dawn on phone after reaching Rawalpindi.

“I am really thankful to the Afghan army. We have been demanding opening of the Tall-Parachinar road and security to passengers from the Pakistan government, but to no avail,” Roashan Bangash, another tribesman said.

MNA from Kurram Agency Sajid Hussain Turi regretted that the Afghan government proved to be more loyal to the tribal people than the Pakistani government, adding it was a shameful event for the government.

Source;  http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/afghan-security-for-kurram-passengers-099




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Pak, Afghan officials hold flag meeting
Haji Naseer Hussain
PARACHINAR: Pakistan and Afghanistan on Tuesday agreed to jointly work against extremism during a flag meeting held at Paktia province of Afghanistan. The missing Havaldar of Frontier Constabulary Omer Ali and other issues also came under discussion in the meeting. The FC man has been missing since March 19, sources said. The meeting, held at Arira, discussed and reviewed the steps taken to maintain security. Meanwhile, a tribal delegation of Kurram Agency held talks with Afghan and NATO forces at Sher-e-Noe, border area of Afghanistan. The meeting reviewed law and order situation in the area and NATO assured that the people who attacked tribesmen in Afghan territory would be dealt severely.

SOURCE: http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=ts&nid=2678





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Daily Times


Daily Times –> Sunday, September 20, 2009

EDITORIAL: Foretold death in Kohat-Hangu

Sectarian violence has been brewing in the NWFP for a long time. Now it has delivered a savage blow to the security of the province. On the holy last Friday of Ramazan, a suicide vehicle destroyed an entire market on the Kohat-Hangu Road and killed 33 people. Needless to say, the shops were mostly Shia-owned and those who died were Shia too. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has added “al-Alami” to its name and owned the attack.

Pakistan lost the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to the Taliban as a result of its “strategic depth” doctrine during the 1990s. The NWFP lost its normally administered areas like Kohat, Hangu and Dera Ismail Khan to the Taliban spill-over from FATA. The sharp edge of conflict in these areas was provided by the sectarian organisation brought into existence by the state in 1985 in Jhang in Punjab: Sipah-e-Sahaba.

Despite the fact that the area contained an important cantonment and an air base, it was handed over to the sectarian terrorists on a platter. The state was willing to tolerate a level of anti-Shia violence if it didn’t bother the government. Centuries of coexistence between the Sunni and Shia communities was thus sacrificed. Onwards from Kohat-Hangu, the tribal agency of Kurram is lost to Pakistan in consequence of this policy of offering the Shia as sacrificial lambs to the Taliban.

Both Kohat and Hangu have mixed Shia-Sunni populations. Several villages that dot the Kohat-Hangu road are alternately Shia and Sunni. If a tension of power maintained the order of peace between the two in the past, it has now been broken by “outsiders”. The Hangu valley is literally watched over by the Orakzai Agency where the Shia-Sunni violence became endemic after the Taliban became strong there. The killers come from Orakzai where warlords have arisen to fame because they kill the Shia as far as Parachinar in Kurram.

Pakistan’s pride over ousting the Soviet Union from Afghanistan has to be qualified in the light of the price that was paid for it. In the 1980s, Afghan refugee camps were established on the main road from Kohat to Darra Adam Khel, close to new Kohat Town. There are two Afghan refugee camps on Darra Adam Khel Road, one on Hangu Road, and one in Sheikhan village and another on Rawalpindi Road. New madrassas were allowed to be built near these camps. Deobandi madrassas gained the upper hand; the old Barelvi madrassas languished inside in the city. The new madrassas continue to be dominated by students from FATA and Afghanistan.

Sectarian personalities like one well known lawyer arose to fame from Kohat. Known as the scourge of the Shia, the man openly declared war against them and Iran while the state watched. He was known as the “Al Qaeda lawyer” because he defended the Arab warriors in trials against them in Pakistan. He was one of the many violent patrons of the Lal Masjid in Islamabad and continues to be a strongman in the Kohat-Hangu area, reportedly guiding the administration.

The Shia festival of Nauruz of 21 March has been forcibly stopped. The Al Quds Day on the last Friday of Ramazan ordained for the Shia by Imam Khomeini — and observed as well by the Sunnis of the world — should have brought the two communities together but the extremists have not let that happen. And one big Lashkar-e-Jhangvi leader is reportedly about to be let off from a court in Multan because he is too powerful to be kept in the death cell.

If the NWFP has lost its entire territory lying on the road to Kurram, the federal government has lost the territory of Kurram to the blood-thirsty Taliban led by warlords Hakimullah Mehsud, Qari Hussain and their lower-echelon commanders. The Shias of Parachinar returning to Kurram can no longer reach their home through Pakistan. They have to land in Afghanistan and then make their way home through high passes. The new practice is that the Taliban catch them on the border in Paktia and behead them.

The battle against the Taliban is clearly laid out; the battle against sectarian terror is less coherent. Populations have already retreated into ghettos in Quetta, Dera Ismail Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bhakkar (Punjab), Gilgit, Kohat-Hangu, and Parachinar, and are waiting for the state of Pakistan to rise from its “writ-less” slumber to come to their rescue. When will that happen? *





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 Kidnapped tribal elder’s son found dead
Thursday, September 17, 2009
By Our correspondent
PARACHINAR: A tribal elder’s son, who had been kidnapped by militants for his alleged involvement in the killing of three men of Baitullah Mahsud group, was found dead and his body was dumped in Khapyanga area of Kurram Lower.

Unidentified armed men had killed three associates of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) slain chief Baitullah Mahsud in Bagan area recently.Tribal sources said that militants then kidnapped Khan Zaman, the son of prominent tribal elder Bahadur Khan, from Bagan area in retaliation.

The militants later killed Khan Zaman and threw his body in Khapyanga area, the sources added. Meanwhile, the elders of Kurram Lower called a jirga to discuss the situation and devise a strategy against the insurgency and violence in the area.






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