Bara Road, the main route linking Khyber Agency to Peshawar, was reopened after more than three years.
The road was closed for traffic since September 2009 when military operations against Mangal Bagh’s Lashkar-e-Islam began. The road was reopened on Sunday by the Frontier Corps (FC) following repeated requests from residents.
“It has been decided to open the road for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening,” said a Sarband police official. The road will be open for general traffic from 8am to 10 am and 4pm to 6 pm.
“We have been informed by security forces deployed in Bara about the decision and asked to arrange security for vehicular traffic,” he added.
Tribesmen welcomed the move but expressed cautioned regarding the security situation in Bara.
“It is good news that the road will reopen after three years but the real problem remains the law and order in Khyber Agency,” said a local elder. There is the possibility of bomb attacks and there is no guarantee that terrorists would not attack people along the road, he stated.
The closure of Bara Road also resulted in shutting down Bara Bazaar, which was the main centre of economic activity in the area, leaving many jobless. This also forced people to use alternative routes which are long and unpaved to reach Bara.
Former senator Haji Muhammad Shah Afridi visited Bara on Sunday to inform the people about the decision, which he said was a major breakthrough.
Meanwhile, a security official died when unidentified militants opened fire at a check post in Zawa, Akka Khel on Sunday. According to a security forces official, their men retaliated and forced the militants to retreat. However, the injured officer, Naik Gran Wali, succumbed to his wounds en route to the hospital.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2013.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ