The Unending Tragedy in Kurram Agency
Daily Times, March 31, 2011
As US pressure mounts on Pakistan to take action against the Haqqanis in North Waziristan, the need to relocate the jihadist assets to safe bases in Kurram has now become urgent
It had taken the Talib terrorist Nek Muhammad Wazir one day to renege on his April 2004 Shakai Treaty with the Pakistan Army. The September 2006 Miranshah Agreement between the Pakistani state and the warlords in North Waziristan lasted 10 months before the militants repudiated the deal in July 2007. The March 2007 deal between the government and the Taliban in Bajaur Agency was literally a nonstarter but was really dead by August of 2007. Then came the mother of all deals when, in May 2008, the Pakistani state inked the agreement with the murderous hordes of Mullah Fazlullah in Swat. While the people of Malakand knew from the word go that the Pakistani state had merely capitulated and there was no ‘agreement’ as such, the deal officially fell apart in April 2009.
And here we are again: yet another peace agreement with the murderers lies in tatters on the Thall-Parachinar road. The peace accord between the various tribes of the Kurram Agency, held under the auspices of Khalil Haqqani of the Haqqani terrorist network, Pakistan’s Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik and, of course, the best-in-the-world intelligence agency, took less than two months to unravel.
On March 25, 2011, three minibuses were on their way from Peshawar to Parachinar in the Upper Kurram Agency when they came under attack from terrorists who opened fire on the first vehicle. First, three men were asked to disembark and were then shot dead on the roadside. The terrorists boarded the vehicle and shot 10 others at point-blank range. The following two (three according to media reports) minibuses stopped as the driver of the lead vehicle panicked and attempted to leave. Forty-five passengers (the exact number remains unknown) were taken hostage by the gunmen. By one account, these hapless people were taken to North Waziristan. The terrorists then released 13 or 15 women and children, who were subsequently driven in a pickup vehicle to the FC fort in Thall. The majority of these men, women and children belong to the Shia Toori tribe.
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