LANDIKOTAL: The main bazaar and other business centres here remained closed to mourn the death of 25 persons in Saturday’s car bombing as 12 victims were laid to rest on Sunday amid tears.
The funeral prayers were offered in various villages of Landikotal tehsil in Khyber Agency. Many hujras were crowded by people offering condolences to the bereaved families.
Local trader unions had given the call for shutdown to observe one-day mourning. People hoisted black flags atop buildings and fastened black strips on their arms and heads as a sign of grief and protest over the bombing that devastated families and destroyed livelihoods.
Closure of the markets in Landikotal compelled the residents to travel almost 25 kilometres to reach markets in Jamrud and Ali Masjid areas.
Dealers of vegetables and fruit suffered losses due to the closure of the markets in Landikotal as they couldn’t sell perishable commodities.
Meanwhile, 10 of the dead were identified as residents of Afghanistan and Azad Kashmir and their bodies were dispatched to their respective areas. Afghan refugees frequent the bazaar in Landikotal while Kashmiris often run bakeries in the tribal areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Residents and politicians criticised the inadequate measures taken by the political administration and health department officials in emergency situations such as one created after the blasts.
Talking to this scribe, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Ikramullah Jan Kukikhel, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders Fakhruddin Shinwari and Abdur Raziq, Jamaat-e-Islami’s Banaras Shinwari and Awami National Party’s Shahid Afridi said health facilities provided to the injured at the hospitals in Landikotal and Peshawar were insufficient.
They said the dead and the injured were put on the floors as there were no beds in the emergency wards of the hospitals. They also criticised Khyber Agency’s Political Agent Mutahirzeb for not visiting the site of the blast. They also called a meeting of the local traders’ union and a press conference today.
They demanded the political agent to announce compensation for families of the dead and injured. They asked the federal government to announce the same compensation amount that is distributed in the rest of the country for the victims of the bombing in Landikotal.