Militants agree to stop attacks on Indus Highway
KOHAT: Elders of six major tribes of the Frontier Region of Kohat and local militants in Darra Adam Khel reached an agreement on Monday to ensure safety of the Indus Highway. In a related development, the Taliban replaced a senior commander in Darra apparently to reduce violence on the Indus Highway and stop extortion and beheading of passengers.
Sources said that Maulana Syed Sher Ali Shah of Darul Uloom Haqqania, Akora Khattak, visited the town two days ago and held a meeting with local militant leaders. Militant commander Tariq Afridi was replaced with Momin Khan Afridi at the meeting, the sources said. It was decided that the militants would not cover their faces, and would stop extorting money from and killing innocent people.
Kohat district coordination officer Kamran Zeb, who also holds the charge of frontier region’s administrator, told Dawn that the tribal elders had met representatives of local Taliban to ensure safe passage of passengers and vehicles through Darra Adam Khel, especially during Muharram.
Mr Zeb said that the tribal elders were ensured by the Taliban that they would not block the road, property of the National Highway Authority under any circumstances and also cause no harm to passengers.
The tribal elders informed the administration that the Taliban had agreed to allow safe passage to the people and in case of violation the government would hold the maliks responsible and take action under Section 40 of Frontier Crimes Regulations. He said that the government or the army had no intention to take action against militants at this stage, but did not rule out the possibility of an operation if the militants attacked people on the road.
The road in Darra Adam Khel has been unsafe for people of a particular sect for more than a month following the killing of passengers by the Taliban in reaction to the sectarian violence in the Kurram Agency.
The residents of the Kurram Agency, parts of Hangu and Kohat districts, were killed and taken hostage by the Taliban in Darra Adam Khel, after which people of these areas have been forced to use long alternative routes, sometimes the Khushal Garh road to reach Peshawar via Punjab.
The complete article can be found at Dawn News.