A large cache of weapons voluntarily handed over to security forces by the people of Upper Dir last month was displayed to the media in Khwazakhela on Thursday.
The weapons – including anti-aircraft guns, machine guns, rocket launchers, mortars and a large quantity of ammunitions – were asked to be handed over to the authorities to avoid the possibility of the weapons falling into the hands of militants.
For the cause, the army had requested the elders of Upper Dir to urge the people to hand over any heavy weapons they hold by organising jirgas in different parts of the district. This was the first time in the region’s history that the people voluntarily gave up such a huge cache of arms and ammunition to help foster peace.
“Their spirit is worth appreciating and I thank the people from the bottom of my heart for cooperating with us,” said Major General Ghulam Qamar while speaking to the media. He said the positive response from the locals is a living proof that they are peace-loving people.
He further said that the Pak-Afghan border near Dir and Chitral has been sealed by the army, which has been carrying out its duties in an effective manner to make sure no terrorist is allowed to enter the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 11th, 2012.