PESHAWAR: Residents of Peshawar celebrated a peaceful Eidul Fitr amidst increased security arrangements, which included closing off several markets in the city for vehicles.
Police closed off the historic Qissa Khwani Bazaar and parts of Saddar for vehicles three days ahead of Eid by placing concrete blocks at entry points, inconveniencing the large number of shoppers. However, the city police considered these measures a necessity due to threats of a terrorist attack in crowded marketplaces.
The public criticised the security measure saying they are hardly the target of terrorists. “It is true that a lot of people die in terrorism incidents but it is also true that the general public is not the target of these attacks, mostly its policemen and security forces,” said Dost Muhammad, a trader who felt prohibiting vehicles from entering markets had a negative impact on businesses.
Another trader Khan Muhammad was of the same opinion. “Ordinary people are not the target of bomb blasts and the fact that the police closes down markets every year on Eid only troubles the public,” he said.
Other security measures adopted included policemen deployed in plain clothes at mosques where Eid congregations were scheduled. Tight security was also observed in Adezai village, which has frequently been targeted by militants in the past few years.
A serene Eid was also observed in Frontier Region Peshawar where unidentified militants had killed Malik Dawa Khan, an influential elder of Jina Kor clab last week after he refused to pay them extortion money.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2013.