The government has decided to use helicopter gunships to ensure safety of travelers on the strategic Karakoram Highway (KKH), according to the spokesperson for the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government.
The move has been prompted by deadly ambushes on passenger vans by sectarian extremists on the KKH in Hazara Division of K-P.
“The decision to use helicopter gunships has been taken at the request of Gilgit-Baltistan government to ensure safety of travellers,” said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the provincial minister for information.
He was in Gilgit to distribute compensation cheques among the heirs of 18 people who were killed in an attack on a passenger van in February, this year.
Mian Iftikhar added that the provincial government would induct another 150 policemen in the police force to patrol the volatile highway. “These new policemen will be in addition to 120 we have already recruited,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2012.
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