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June 24, 2013

Security forces strengthening peace bodies after controlling Tirah

National

June 24, 2013

BARA: After taking over the Maidan area in Tirah valley, security forces have opposed the re-emergence of Ansarul Islam (AI), a banned militant organisation, once in full control of the area, and asked the local people to hoist Pakistan’s flag on their houses and buildings instead of the flag of any militant organisation.
“The head and deputy head of AI -- Qazi Mehboob and Ezatullah -- have gone underground after they failed to reactivate the armed organisation,” said an ex-commander of the AI on condition of anonymity.
He said that security forces were not in favour of reactivating the AI and giving a role to its leaders as they had lost the support of the local population after being defeated by the TTP in March 2013. “Now, the security forces are supporting the defence committees formed by Shalobar and Malikdinkhel Afridi tribes to maintain security in Maidan area,” he said.
Kaptan Afridi, once remained the close aide of Ezatullah and Qazi Mehboob, and now a senior member of Shalobar defence committee, said that at present neither local people nor the security forces were in favour of AI to come back to Maidan. “Now, we have formed peace bodies to fill the vacuum and maintain law and order in the area,” he added.
In a recent meeting with the leaders of defence committees in Peshawar, security officials warned them against playing any role in the reactivation of AI and using its flag in Maidan, said another member of peace committee. The recently-formed Shalobar and Malikdinkhel peace committees are headed by Taj Malook and Haji Nasib, respectively. Talking to this scribe, local people said that security forces cleared the Maidan area, the homeland of Zakhakhel, Shalobar, Qambarkhel, Malikdinkhel and Adamkhel Afridi, of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan on Wednesday and hoisted the Pakistani flag on the central and historical old Bagh area of the valley.
“Except of Parel and Inqilabi Sar in the east, now all the key tops of Maidan are in

control of Pakistan army which has pushed back the TTP militants to Kukikhel area of the valley,” a local Dawlat Khan told The News on Sunday.Kaptan said that more than 5,0000 internally displaced persons from Maidan would be asked soon to return to their homes after security forces cleared the area of landmines.
However, he said that many of the families might not be able to return to their houses as more than 2,000 houses had been torched by the TTP before leaving the area. He said the peace committee had proposed to the government and security agencies to pay Rs1 million for each destroyed house and provide ration to each family for a period of six months.