PESHAWAR: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) “Aman Lashkar” or Peace Committee, formed to counter terrorists, now finds itself with a target on its own back from the very same elements.
On January 19, target killers gunned down committee’s head Malik Afridi while he was traveling from Peshawar to Bara.
Earlier, he had been seriously injured in a 2014 suicide attack.
The Adezai village of the Mattani area has been gripped with violence since 2008, after which the peace committee was formed by locals of the area.
Over 100 of its volunteers have been killed in suicide blasts and target killings to date.
“Our homes were attacked four times in 2016,” Amanullah Khan, a member of the peace committee told The Express Tribune.
Amanullah says 72 policemen were assigned for security in the area by K-P Police in December 2008. The security, however, he added, was withdrawn in 2017.
He says they are fighting terrorists without help from any law enforcement agency since then.
“We gave several applications to K-P IG Waqar Khan to bring back the police contingent to the area, but to no avail,” laments Amanullah.
Arsalan Khan, another member of the committee, says 15 of his family members have been targeted by terrorists.
On March 9, 2011, a suicide blast ripped through a funeral procession in Adezai’s Matni area, leaving 36 dead.
Arsalan says his father Wakif Khan became the leader of the Adezai’s Aman Lashkar following the death of the its chief Dilawar Khan in 2013.
Assailants, he says, also gunned down his uncle Faiz Muhammad in Matni Bazaar.
“When it was our age to study we were carrying weapons to fend off terrorist attacks,” he says.
Arsalan says they couldn’t even leave their homes out of fear that they would be targeted by terrorists.
KP IG says police had been withdrawn from the Aman Committee after conditions improved.
The security, he says, is however provided when needed as per the policy.