While the government decorates tribal elders in parts of the tribal belt in acknowledgement of their sacrifices in the ongoing insurgency, leaders of a peace body from the outskirts of Peshawar have accused the provincial government of undermining their struggle against militants.
Although the rift between the Adezai Qaumi Lashkar and the provincial government has long existed, a new development took form as chief of the lashkar Dilawar Khan urged the government to refrain from their ‘biases’.
Talking to reporters at the Peshawar Press Club (PPC), he asked Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Senior Minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour and Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain to stop their political opposition towards him, ‘otherwise, they will be deemed responsible in case of any untoward action he faces.
The grumbling Dilawar also seemed unhappy over being left out from the national awards. He alleged that the federal government was honouring him with ‘Pride of Performance’ but the provincial government stood in the way.
He further accused the provincial government of intentionally stopping support to their militia, which, he added, would result in a spike in militant activities around Peshawar. He said that the ANP-led provincial government refused to support his peace body, as he was a district president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q).
Dilawar said that despite being associated with different political parties, his lashkar was united with the sole aim of fighting militants and saving their locality from the flames of insurgency. He added that senior militant commander Jangrez Khan was recently killed in a clash with lashkar volunteers.
“We have formed this lashkar at the orders of the government at the time, which had promised to support us in our fight against militants, but those promises are yet to be met,” he said.
He added that since 2008 around 100 of the lashkar’s volunteers have sacrificed their lives while fighting militants and scores of others were injured – yet they have not received adequate compensation.
The chief alleged that the K-P government has failed to meet their promise to provide food, arms, ammunition provisions, and have left thr laskhar at the mercy of the militants. He added that they were fighting this war at their own expenses.
Dilawar claimed that during the past some months they foiled three suicide attack bids and killed the attackers, but unfortunately, neither a government official nor a minister bothered to ask about volunteers or commend them. The government tries to take credit for successful operations against the Taliban, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2011.
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