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Waziristan clash: ‘Those who challenge govt writ will be dealt with iron hand’

Top Story

May 30, 2019

PESHAWAR: Vowing to maintain the writ of state at all costs, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai has said that it doesn’t behove parliamentarians to take up arms and attack the army check-post and anyone doing so would face the law of the land.

The minister was referring to the incident of attack on the army check-post in Khar Kamar area of North Waziristan while addressing a press conference at the Media Cell of the Civil Secretariat on Wednesday.

Shaukat Yousafzai, who is also a spokesperson for the provincial government, said it was unfortunate that two members of the National Assembly, Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir, who were armed, led the mob towards the security check-post in Mir Ali tehsil in North Waziristan to get their detained party man released.

Those challenging writ of the state will be dealt with an iron hand, he said and slammed the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leaders for “inciting a mob against the forces that led to their clash with the security forces.” “It doesn’t suit parliamentarians to incite people against their own army. They have their platform, the Parliament, to take up the problems they have with any state institution,” he maintained.

Flanked by Provincial Minister for Agriculture, Mohibullah Khan, Shaukat Yousafzai alleged the arrested PTM leaders had links with certain anti-state elements and the information gathered by intelligence agencies were of very serious nature. These may have a direct bearing on the integrity of the country, the minister said and added their (certain PTM leaders) actions indicate that they are having the support of their foreign masters.

He alleged there was evidence with very sensitive quarters that some of these (PTM leaders) people were receiving finances from external sources. “They are asking the army, which is carrying out operation in the border areas of the North Waziristan, to leave; if their demand is accepted and the army vacate the area where it is carrying out the operation, it would be tantamount to leaving the area to the banned terrorist outfits to regroup in the merged districts. And it will not be allowed come what may,” Shaukat reiterated.

The minister went on to refer to the arrest of the MNA Ali Wazir and alleged hiding of MNA Mohsin Dawar saying it is wrong to use the local population as human shields for one’s own nefarious designs.

He said that the army personnel and people of the erstwhile tribal areas rendered numerous sacrifices for the peace partially restored and no one would be allowed to sabotage these sacrifices and efforts made for peace over the last one decade in just a spur of time by asking the army to vacate the areas which have yet not been cleared. “The fence at the border in these is also being built and it would be completed by all means,” Shaukat said.

To a question about the Bilawal Bhutto and Maryam Nawaz tirade against the government, he said, “Father of one is languishing in jail for corruption he committed and the other one's father will soon go to jail for similar deeds. They (Bilawal and Maryam) are frustrated and wanted to save their parents’ corruption,” he added. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, instead of worrying about the KP and merged districts, should focus on development in Sindh to ameliorate people of the province who are struck by HIV.

He informed a journalist Gohar Wazir associated with a local channel was arrested as he was raising anti-state and anti-security forces slogans during an agitation by PTM leadership, but he was released this (Wednesday) morning after initial verification of his profession.

APP adds: Addressing a press conference Wednesday here State Minister Shehryar Afridi said it is the government’s responsibility to respect every Pakistani whereas they offer the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) to resolve issues through dialogue.

He asserted that it is the time for Pakistan to illuminate after darkness. “Whoever will try to take the law in his own hands, will be dealt strictly,” he added.

Shehryar Afridi said that slogans were never chanted against Pakistan in the history of Pashtuns. He further said that if there is any sort of issue with them then it can be peacefully resolved through dialogue. “Pakistan is in safe hands now and it has a very bright future,” he added.

Minister expressed that government would not have allowed Mohsin Dawar to submit his resolution about Fata’s merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province if it had any ill intent against the PTM.

Asked if the government would be ready to hold talks to Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), the minister stated that it is the responsibility of government to respect every Pakistani. “When I was the interior minister, I made Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir sit together for talks,” he asserted.

The minister said that Pakistan would commemorate year 2019 as 40 years of hospitality for Afghan refugees. He said the federal government had released an unprecedented Rs102 billion for the development of tribal regions of erstwhile Fata and massive development process was going to take place in tribal regions.