Monday October 02, 2023

Alarming increase in attacks and threats to politicians in KP

December 12, 2022

PESHAWAR: The law and order situation has taken an ugly turn for the last several weeks with an increase in attacks on police and threats to high-profile individuals and politicians in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

Police have been alerted across the province after accelerated attacks on the force in different districts during the last few weeks. The force has come under attack in Peshawar, southern districts and Mardan region.

“Apart from the police, senior politicians have complained of receiving threats. The houses of some of them have also come under grenade attack,” a source told The News.

The provincial spokesperson for the Awami National Party (ANP), Samar Haroon Bilour, on Sunday said the party’s provincial president Aimal Wali Khan had received a call about a plan of attack on his life.

She said leadership’s protection was the responsibility of the state and they will be left with no other option but to take the protection of leaders into their hands if the state failed to act.

“Apart from Aimal Wali Khan, Sardar Hussain Babak and others have received threats as well while the house of MPA Faisal Zeb was attacked twice in the last few weeks,” Samar Haroon Bilour added.

Samar’s husband, Haroon Bilour and father-in-law Bashir Ahmad Bilour were martyred along with several other party workers in separate suicide attacks.

An official in the Counter-Terrorism Department said the Superintendent of police of the Mardan region has been tasked to visit Aimal Wali Khan and get details of the threats so that adequate measures could be taken in this case.

Apart from the attack on the house of ANP MPA Faisal Zeb in Shangla, a grenade was hurled at the house of party Senator Hidayatullah in Peshawar in recent months.

ANP lost hundreds of its workers in attacks across KP in the past one and a half decades.

The party lost some of its top leaders, including former senior minister Bashir Bilour and other lawmakers in these attacks while its central president Asfadnyar Wali Khan, Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, Mian Iftikhar Hussain and many others survived attacks on lives in the past.

In the recent wave of violence, politicians affiliated with other political parties have either come under attack or received threats.

“On the night between Saturday and Sunday, a grenade was hurled at the house of former provincial minister Haji Muhammad Javed in Gulbahar Peshawar that did not cause any casualty or damage,” an official said.

Grenades were lobbed into the houses and hujras of several well-off individuals in Peshawar and the rest of the KP.

A grenade was hurled at the house of former federal minister Shehryar Afridi in Kohat while the house of MPA Aghaz Khan Gandapur was attacked by armed men in Dera Ismail Khan months back which left one policeman martyred. Both leaders belong to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

In August, a PTI MPA Malik Liaqat was wounded while four others, including his brother and nephew, lost their lives in an attack on his car in Lower Dir.

A number of political workers and well-off individuals received calls for extortion in the last many months. Many of these incidents were not even reported to the police.

After smaller attacks since last year, the wave of terrorist attacks has risen across the province in the last few months.

As per the official figures, 118 terrorist incidents were reported in KP from mid-August till the last week of November.

It was learnt that 26 policemen, 12 personnel of other law enforcement agencies and 17 civilians were martyred in terror incidents across the KP. Besides, 18 policemen, 10 civilians and 37 law enforcement agencies personnel were wounded in these attacks.

During the same period in 2021, as many as 102 terror attacks were carried out in KP that resulted in the martyrdom of four policemen each and civilians and 23 personnel of other LEAs.

During November, attacks were carried out in almost a dozen districts, including Peshawar, Mardan, Bajaur, Mohmand, Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Kohat, Bannu and Nowshera. These attacks accelerated this month.

According to the officials of the KP Police, the force has accelerated operations against the terrorists and 539 alleged terrorists and proclaimed offenders were arrested in the province during the first 10 months of 2022. They added 141 were also killed that included 42 of those who carried head money.

The CTD in the last two days claimed to have killed eight terrorists associated with Daesh and other groups in North Waziristan and Nowshera.