Death toll from Kurram clashes tops 11

Efforts to start peace talks have failed so far

Mehdi Hussain July 12, 2023
A large number of school students and teachers protest in Parachinar against the grisly May 4 attack. PHOTO: EXPRESS


Death toll in Kurram clashes reached at least 11 on Tuesday as every efforts on the part of authorities completely failed to bring the heavily armed warring factions to the negotiation table.

At least 77 people have been injured in the skirmishes between different groups as locals suspected the involvement of TTP terrorists who are trying to turn the deadly land dispute into a full-scale sectarian conflict.

It may be recalled that on Friday afternoon, heavily armed tribesmen took positions and suddenly started fighting. It left five people dead and at least 23 injured. The district administration initially claimed that due to its efforts and involvement of a local Jirga both the sides reached a ceasefire but in the night clashes erupted again in more localities of Tari Mangal area which is infamous for its law and order situation.

On May 4, seven people were gunned down in a government high school in the area in broad daylight in which four were school teaches and others were drivers. Government failed to arrest those responsible despite the passage of months.

A press statement issued on Tuesday claimed that government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, has made every effort to resolve the longstanding land disputes in Kurram and to normalize the situation well before the 7th July clash between inhabitants of Dandar Sehra and Boshehra.

“It is pertinent to mention here that there are eight different land disputes going on in central, lower and upper areas of district Kurram most of which date back to pre-independence time. Recently, on 7th July exchange of fire took place between inhabitants of Dandar Sehra and Boshehra over construction on disputed Shamilat at Dandar Sehra upper Kurram wherein regrettably seven individuals were killed and 37 got injured. Section 144 has already been imposed in that area,” says the statement.

Immediately after the clash, the district administration with the support of police and law enforcement agencies engaged prominent elders to reach a ceasefire and started negotiations with both parties, it says, adding that section 144 of CrPC was imposed on the disputed land with deployment of LEAs to normalize the situation and avoid further losses or casualties.

A 12-member Jirga including elders of Kurram was constituted by the district administration to resolve the land disputes and carry out negotiations with both tribes.

The Jirga was assisted by a Revenue Commission led by AC Upper Kurram constituted on 25th December 2021 to resolve the land dispute and they were successful in demarcating the land of Gido.

On the other hand, government through Board of Revenue has notified a high-level Revenue Commission at provincial level for settlement of measured or unmeasured land in the district to resolve the matter once and for all.

The land commission along with elders of the area visited Kurram twice on 6th June and 20th June and a third visit is planned this week.

“Several reports have been received that some miscreants are giving it sectarian touch and propagating false news on social media. Strict monitoring of social media is in place and all such miscreants will be dealt severely,” it added.

Lately, a 30-member Jirga from Kohat, Orakzai and Hangu has also moved to Kurram.


Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2023.


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