Peshawar: Militants led by Fazlullah claim attacking police
PESHAWAR: Militants affiliated with Maulana Fazlullah have reached the newly created district of Tor Ghar and their spokesman and close aide Sirajuddin Ahmad has not only claimed responsibility for blowing up a police van there but also warned the government of severe consequences if it challenges the Taliban in the erstwhile semi-tribal region.
Sirajuddin on Sunday called this correspondent from somewhere in Afghanistan, most probably Kunar or Nuristan, where the Pakistani Taliban have been living, and claimed responsibility for the attack on a van carrying the newly-recruited police personnel. Four policemen were killed and 15 others sustained injuries when a roadside explosive device hit their van.
He also claimed responsibility for the attack on the house of peace lashkar leader Idrees Khan in Bara Banda in Swat and for blowing up a market with music shops in the Kumbar area of Maidan in Lower Dir district.
Sirajuddin claimed that the Tor Ghar district was the stronghold of the Taliban led by Maulana Fazlullah and they would never allow the government to raise security agencies there and challenge the Taliban.
In January 28 this year the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government declared this remote and under-developed mountainous area a new district of the province with the hope that it would bring improvement in the lives of the people there. The provincial government, which has been confronted by numerous challenges is still working on raising a police force and developing infrastructure for this 25th district of the province. Besides addressing other pressing issues, the government will now have to face militants in a remote region that has remained ungoverned for decades. Asked how they reached the remote Tor Ghar district, Sirajuddin answered: “We already had enough people there.”