Several families affiliated with armed forces are being kidnapped and threatened by militants.
Locals say that insurgents had abducted many relatives of people who were serving in paramilitary forces or police, mainly from the suburban area of Michni. They were released after paying ransom.
“There were two people from our village, Tapu Sardar, who served in the paramilitary force,” said a local elder, Behram Khan, while talking to The Express Tribune. “But both had to leave for Saudi Arabia after militants had threatened them,” he said.
Behram said that another man, Hassan Shah, was kidnapped but set free after local elders paid a Rs1.2 million ransom to militants. Shah’s father who was serving in paramilitary forces was also kidnapped, and his son had no choice but to resign.
“These people [militants] even go to mosques after Aftar warning locals of dire consequences,” said another elder, seeking anonymity because of the volatile situation in the area. He said that militants we once again trying to gain control, particularly at night.
Elders claim that in Michni, a new militant commander had taken charge. “His family has already left the area and moved somewhere else,” they added.
Locals claim that militants have successfully regrouped and their numbers have been increasing, despite the fact that opponent factions of militants have also grown in the area.
Those who already work for paramilitary forces or police are constantly receiving threats and their relatives are being kidnapped, they said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2012.