Enemies of peace and State’s responsibility

Written by The Frontier Post

Thousands of people had taken out in Swat and held anti-war rallies in Tehsil Matta and Kabal on Friday. The demonstrators were holding placards against wars and were demanding peace in the region because wars had already destroyed the area.

The rallies had been arranged after the law enforcement officers were taken hostage and the Police were attacked during the recent search operation in the hilly region of Tehsil Matta. The protestors urged the central and provincial governments to take practical measures to maintain peace in the region.

The law and order situation in some parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province particularly in Swat, Dir, North Waziristan, and Mardan Districts had sharply deteriorated over the recent months which not only rung the bell in the Federal and Provincial capitals but also created great fears and apprehensions in the public.

There were continuous reports of massive target killings in North Waziristan and local tribes had launched a protest campaign that is continuing over the past 4th week. Similarly, there were reports of harassment, intimidation, and extortion from locals in the Malakand Division, while an MPA, Malik Liaqat Khan was targeted by some unknown gunmen in Dir in recent days. The problem does not stop here, and highly disturbing reports are continuously coming from the previously terror-hit valley of Swat, where recurrent incidents of extortion and intimidation of locals happened in recent days. The terrorists took hostage of an LEA officer and attacked the Police party last week.

After immense political and public pressure, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif constituted a committee comprising members from all political parties except the PTI to discuss peace with the protesters in North Waziristan, while no practical measures had been taken so far to address the law and order situation in Swat and Dir districts.

Media reports suggest that the recent peace deal between the government of Pakistan and the Tahreek-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has paved the path for the return of hundreds of TTP members to Pakistan. Those returnee TTP members have constructed check posts and bunkers in certain areas and continuously created law and order problems for the government. Although, the TTP leadership had denied the involvement of its members in these incidents however the situation is still unclear.

In fact, the Federal and Provincial governments are seeking a political solution to administrative and legal issues. It is a pure law and order problem and a severe challenge to the writ of the state which could not be resolved through political recipes and appeasement of the aggressor or gratification of the victims of harassment. The Federal and Provincial governments must ask the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and District administrations about the deteriorating situation of the law and order in their districts.

Apparently, the political jirga will gain time and assure the locals to address their concerns regarding rising incidents of target killings, while the ultimate solution to the issue would be the apprehension of the culprits and restoration of the writ of the government.

Historically, political or tribal jirgas could not prove their effectiveness in achieving sustainable peace in terror-hit areas, instead, they provided time and space for terrorism to consolidate its stronghold. Therefore, the government must take swift and stern action against the law abusers to restore peace and maintain the writ of the law in the affected part of the country.

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The Frontier Post