Wednesday February 08, 2023

Terrorist attacks worry public in Peshawar

By our correspondents
June 27, 2016

Target killings, extortion calls, bombings have become a routine

PESHAWAR: Following an increase in target killings and calls for extortion over the last many months, the terrorists have now started carrying out attacks in the northern part of the provincial capital.

The incidents of target killings and calls demanding millions of rupees from locals as extortion have been a routine practice in most parts of Peshawar for the last several years.Some high-profile individuals, security personnel, government officers, political and tribal elders, well-off people, doctors, lawyers and people from almost all walks of life have become victim of targetted killings during the last few years.

The statistics of the the current year speak much about an increase in such crimes in the city. The latest victim of the target killing was Nawab Safi, a young section officer who was shot dead by unidentified motorcyclists in the limits of the Yakatoot Police Station, which is infamous for such crimes.

Calls to well-off people for extortion are also being made on a daily basis, forcing many to pay up, shift to safer cities or abroad, or restrict their movement and hire guards for their personal security as well as for their family and properties. Still there is no guarantee that the criminals will not hurl a hand-grenade to cause harm.

Though most of the bomb attacks in such incidents only caused damage to property, there were incidents in which people were killed and wounded. This is enough to terrorise the rest of those receiving calls for extortion. The only relief the police could provide to the victims was issuing three-month permits to carry gun for security. Some of the gangs were recently busted by the police and Counter-Terrorism Department, but the miseries of the public are yet to come to an end.

Besides these two issues, the new problem the Peshawar Police and other security agencies are facing is to counter a number of bomb blasts and other acts of terror that have been happening since May, mostly in places falling in the limits of Regi, Mathra, Khazana and Daudzai police stations.

The police and security forces personnel were targetted in these explosions. A police sub-inspector was among those killed in one such attack. The investigation of a blast in Sufaid Sang village that killed three persons showed all those killed were terrorists who were planning a major attack on a government-run school. The explosives they were carrying went off prematurely, killing all three of them.

The Counter-Terrorism Department busted the network and recovered a huge quantity of explosives the terrorists were planning to use in attacks in different parts of Peshawar. The recent blasts in Khazana and Daudzai too have sent the alarm bells ringing in the headquarters of police and other security agencies.

Security has already been put on a high alert ahead of Eidul Fitr and during the last days of Ramazan. However, better efforts are needed to end the feelings of insecurity among the people in Peshawar and its surroundings.