DERA ISMAIL KHAN: A large-scale search operation was launched by security forces in Kulachi, DI Khan after the government ended a peace deal with the tribesmen on Sunday.
The deal ended after investigative reports of the DI Khan prison attack revealed militants entered the city via the Kulachi area and also escaped using the same route.
According to an official of the security forces, the government had signed a pact with the Kulachi tribesmen in 2009. The official explained the agreement stated Kulachi residents would not shelter any anti-state elements in their area, and would not allow passage to anyone attempting to use the area against the government.
The official stated they discovered Kulachi tribesmen were aiding militants after the Muharram 10 bomb blasts in 2012, and further revealed ‘anti-state elements’ had established a camp in Loni area of Kulachi with the support of Matiullah and Gandapur. Following this, security forces raided the area, arrested militants and shifted them to a prison. Residents reportedly admitted their mistake and swore they would not aid militants again.
However, the official went on to say reports pertaining to the July 29 jailbreak revealed militants had once again used the Kulachi region. They came through Sur Ghar in 14 passenger vans, five double cabin vehicles, and around 20 motorbikes. Once they freed nearly 250 prisoners, militants used the Kulachi route, which leads to Frontier Region DI Khan and South Waziristan, to escape. Locals did not inform the government of this despite the agreement.
The official added the government ended the pact after these reports and ordered a massive search operation in Kulachi. “The operation was launched in Kulachi, Kot Doulat, Kot Sultan, Loni, Garmistan, Rori, and Madi, with eight suspected militants arrested and shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation.”
Meanwhile, security forces along with Cantonment police launched a search operation in Cantt area and seized a suicide jacket along with a huge cache of arms.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2013.