Youm-e-Shuhada: Kurram Agency pays tribute to victims of militant attacks

Tribespeople pay homage to MWM cleric Allama Muhammad Nawaz Irfani.

Our Correspondent July 08, 2015
Tribespeople pay homage to MWM cleric Allama Muhammad Nawaz Irfani. PHOTO:

PARACHINAR: Tribespeople from Kurram Agency observed Youm-e-Shuhada (Day of martyrs) by paying tribute to those who had lost their lives due to militancy across the province since 2005.

A gathering was organised at Markazi Jamia Masjid in Parachinar on Tuesday to commemorate the occasion. The event was attended by relatives of people who had lost their lives in various incidents of militancy across the province. They stood in a long queue for several hours and carried photographs of their loved ones who had fallen victim to militants’ gun.

Speaking on the occasion, the mosque’s khateeb Allama Arif Hussain voiced his concerns over the spate of militancy which has gripped the country. He flayed the federal government for not taking action against militants. “The government has become a silent spectator,” he said. “Meanwhile, in Balochistan, people from the Hazara community are being targeted. The situation has spiralled out of control.”

Hussain vowed to support to the government in its fight against militancy in the country. “The tribespeople from Kurram Agency will also stand by the government in its efforts to improve law and order,” he added.

Glowing tributes

On the eve of Youm-e-Shuhada, tribespeople from Kurram Agency paid glowing tributes to Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) cleric Allama Muhammad Nawaz Irfani who was assassinated in Islamabad in 2014. A large number of speakers voiced disappointment over the government’s failure to arrest his assailants.

In November 2014, unidentified men gunned down Irfani in Sector E-11/4 in the federal capital. According to police, Irfani had gone to visit someone in the area when unidentified men riding motorcycles opened fire on him as he was heading back to his house located in G-11/2. He was accompanied by a guard and driver when the incident took place.

Irfani hailed from Gilgit-Baltistan and had lived in Parachinar for 14 years. He had settled in the capital in 2014 after he was expelled from Kurram Agency under the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) for alleged hate speech. Around the same time, some 60 tribal elders were also arrested under the FCR for supporting Irfani. Their privileges as elders were then revoked.

In August, tribesmen of Kurram Agency protested for weeks and demanded the leader be allowed to resume his role at Markazi Jamia Masjid. Moreover, they asked for the return of their elders who were arrested earlier, with their privileges intact.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2015.