DERA ISMAIL KHAN: The Daewoo Bus Service plying between DI Khan and Peshawar has been suspended due to security problems in the southern districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Requesting anonymity, an employee at the Daewoo Bus Service Terminal DI Khan disclosed that the company had been receiving threats on telephone by unidentified persons telling them to discontinue its service on the DI Khan-Peshawar route.
He added he had no knowledge whether the closure was temporary or permanent. “Only the DI Khan-Peshawar service has been suspended, buses to Karachi, Lahore, etc from DI Khan will continue to run,” he informed.
The bus travel between DI Khan and Peshawar takes about five hours and 40 minutes. The bus leaves from DI Khan district and passes through Darra Pezo in Lakki Marwat, Karak district and Kohat Tunnel before reaching Peshawar.
This is not the first time the bus service has been threatened. Earlier, upon receiving threats from Taliban militants, the company was forced to remove its female steward staff and replace them with male stewards.
In 2006, a mob damaged the company’s DI Khan terminal during violent nationwide protests against a blasphemous caricature published in a Danish newspaper.
It is widely believed the transport mafia in DI Khan is involved in attempts to make the Daewoo bus service unsuccessful in the district as it has affected their businesses. Reportedly, most of the people involved in damaging Daewoo’s terminal during the riots were transporters.
Daewoo’s closure of the DI Khan-Peshawar route will create hurdles, especially for government officials who frequently use the service as it is a relatively safe mode of transport.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2013.
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