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casualty of lawlessness in Frontier
- Monday, February 23, 2009 - From Print Edition


PESHAWAR: Faith healers have either stopped practicing or have gone underground because of threats to their lives.


The faith healers of the city have been receiving threats for the past many months and the government failed to provide them security. A number of them were picked from various parts of the city and freed only after assurance that they would no longer continue their practice.


Phool Badshah — the latest victim in the city — was shot dead by unknown people at Khan Mast Colony in the Yakatoot Police Station jurisdiction. Police, as usual, are yet to work out the case.


The office of another faith healer was blown up with explosives in Kohati locality last month. He was threatened by a group to stop his “illegal and un-Islamic” business, but he refused. Abdul Nasir of Pandu, Naseer Shah of Kohat Road, two ‘pirs’ of Badaber and a number of others from across the city were either picked or attacked for practicing faith healing.


The murder of Pir Rafiullah of Taroo Jabba grieved the entire city. Armed men from picked him up from outside his residence last month and later his beheaded body was recovered from the boundary of Khyber Agency. No group claimed responsibly for his murder so far.


It is a fact that many of the ‘faith healers’ were fraudulent and looting locals by taking advantage of their ignorance. These ‘pirs’ are enjoying luxurious life despite knowing nothing. The kidnapping and murder of such people is at least a law and order issue that the government has failed to tackle. The authorities also failed to check the activities of the bogus ‘pirs’.


A faith healer admitted that there were a number of bogus healers, who are looting money and involved in immoral activities. “But there are many who are serving the public through the verses of the holy Quran. These people need to be provided security,” the ‘pir’ told this scribe on condition of anonymity.