As the political tension in the country is rising due to an ongoing tug-of-war between the sitting government and the opposition, the law and order situation in KPK is becoming worrisome with each passing day. Some political actors in the country, taking advantage of this situation are trying to put forward dangerous political narratives that are against the national security interests of the country. One such narrative is based on misinformation that TTP has returned to Swat/Malakand division and border areas adjacent to Pak-Afghan international border. It’s an undeniable fact that there have been some serious law and order issues in KPK during last few weeks but that’s not more than in any other part of the country.
Kidnapping, murder for revenge, robberies, and extortion are crimes on the rise in KPK but we didn’t see any high profile terrorist incidents anywhere in the province during the same period. Political ambitions by some parties and irresponsible media reporting are creating an impression that terrorists have returned in the province’s urban centers. For example, on October 10, two school vans came under attack in the Lower Dir and Gulibagh areas of Swat district. He said that both the attacks created impressions of terrorist attacks but now police investigations have revealed that the causes of these attacks were not related to TTP/ISKP terrorism. This irresponsible behavior of political parties and media houses cast a bad shadow on the performance of Pakistan’s security institutions which have made countless sacrifices to ensure that terrorists would never return to KPK or any other part of the country from where their strong bastions were eliminated. The war against terrorism is still going on as the security forces are constantly searching and destroying terrorist sleeper cells through intelligence based operations orIBOs.
Fact remains that after the 18th amendment, law and order is a local government responsibility.
Yesterday, KP Inspector General of Police Moazzam Jah Ansari revealed that the attack on a school van earlier this month which resulted in the killing of its driver was a case of honor killing. IG police categorically denied any link of this particular incident with terrorism and also revealed that the driver of this van, Hussain Ali, was murdered by his brother-in-law and his two accomplices in the name of honor. He said that three accused have been arrested while another has fled to Dubai. Earlier, protests had erupted across Swat even before the killing of the school van driver with the largest gathering taking place in Mingora under the banner of Swat Ulasi Prasun at the Nishat Chowk Mingora. The sit-in was ended after two days following successful talks with authorities wherein authorities announced a martyrs’ package for the slain heirs and promised to arrest his killers.
He also told that the killers remained present in the protests following his murder and funeral. These protests were covered as anti-terrorism protests and certain elements in political circles used them to prove the return of TTP after which they blamed Pakistan Army as well. On the other hand, the fact is that police did recover the muder weapon and the motorbike used in this attack.
The police chief of KP also said that the Taliban have left Swat district and there was no reason for fear and panic as the police is in the process of setting up check posts on the mountain tops in Upper Swat. The fact that local and foreign tourists are visiting peaceful Swat speaks volumes about the unashamed behavior of those who want to exploit the situation by mixing misinformation and lies in their political narratives. These elements are playing with the future of Pakistan.
Both FATF and IMF teams will be in Pakistan this week for their final assessments regarding Pakistan’s performance on both economy and anti-terror financing. Incidents like the honor killing of driver and subsequent media narratives, sit-ins and protests have put Pakistan in a tight spot as now the federal government will have to satisfy both international watchdogs.
Provincial governments must focus on their duty towards the people by ensuring that law and order remain intact and political ambitions must not overtake this sacred duty.