Monday, December 12, 2022

Law and order deteriorate in KP as attacks, threats to politicians, police spike

ANP says KP chief Aimal Wali receiving death threats; Bilawal Bhutto assures him of every possible support

KP Police personnel patrol area after an attack in Swat. —AFP
KP Police personnel patrol area after an attack in Swat. —AFP
  • At least 55 lost lives in attacks from mid-August to November.
  • CTD claims to arrest 539 alleged terrorists, offenders.
  • ANP's Aimal Wali Khan received threats on Saturday. 

PESHAWAR: The law and order situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has gone south over the last few weeks as an increase has been noticed in threats and attacks on security forces as well as high-profile political personalities.

According to a The News report published Monday, the police are on high alert across the province after the recent spike in attacks in areas including Peshawar, southern districts, and the Mardan region.

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

On Sunday, the provincial spokesperson of the Awami National Party (ANP) Samar Bilour told that their provincial president Aimal Wali Khan had received a call about a plan of attack on his life.

Samar said that their leadership's protection is the state's responsibility, adding that they will be left with no other option but to take the protection of their leaders into their own hands if the state does not act.

Following reports, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari condemned the threats to the ANP leader and assured him of every possible support.

In a statement issued after the development, the PPP chairperson said that terrorists won't be allowed to harm any democratic political leader, worker, or the common man.

The ANP leader had voiced similar concerns in a statement a few days back, warning the state, government, and "terrorist sympathisers" that Aimal Wali is the heir of the politics of Wali Bagh and not to complain if he is harmed.

“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.

It is pertinent to mention that Samar's husband, Haroon Bilour and father-in-law Bashir Ahmad Bilour were martyred along with several other party workers in separate suicide attacks.

Meanwhile, a senior police official in the Mardan region has been tasked to visit Aimal Wali Khan and get details of the threats so that adequate measures could be taken for his security, a CTD official said.

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 has lost hundreds of its workers in attacks across KP in the past 15 years, including some of its top leaders, such as senior minister Bashir Bilour. While its central president Asfadnyar Wali Khan, Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, Mian Iftikhar Hussain and many others narrowly escaped attacks in the past.

Attacks on politicans

Politicians affiliated with other political parties have either come under attack or received threats in the recent wave of violence.

An official told, “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.”

A hand grenade was thrown at former federal minister Shehryar Afridi's house in Kohat, while PTI MPA Aghaz Khan Gandapur's residence was attacked by armed men in Dera Ismail Khan, leaving one policeman dead, some time back.

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

Businessmen and political workers have been receiving extortion calls in the past few months. The majority of these incidents were not even reported to the police.

Terror incidents

The wave of terrorist attacks has risen across the province in the last few months, the report said. At least 118 terrorist incidents were reported in KP from mid-August till the last week of November, according to official numbers.

At least 26 policemen, 12 personnel of other law enforcement agencies and 17 civilians were killed in terror incidents across the KP. Moreover, 18 policemen, 10 civilians, and 37 law enforcement agencies personnel suffered injuries in these attacks.

A dozen districts, including Peshawar, Mardan, Bajaur, Mohmand, Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Kohat, Bannu, and Nowshera came under attack in November.

Meanwhile, KP Police claims that they have accelerated operations against the terrorists saying at least 539 alleged terrorists and proclaimed offenders were arrested in the province during the first 10 months of 2022. They added 141 were also killed including 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.