In Parachinar (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) , a beautiful yet strategically sensitive valley near the border, recent developments have left the region in a state of tension and unease. Dr. Ulamam Sid Shafqat Hussain Shirazi, the Head of the Majlis Ulemas of Pakistan and Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Majlis of Unity Muslim, has expressed grave concerns over the treatment of the people of Parachinar by Pakistan in the past years. He questioned the repeated attempts to disrupt the peace in the area, which the Pakistan Army has struggled to control.
The Parachinar region, formerly part of FATA, remains under complete military control, and any threat to the safety and security of these areas raises questions about the performance of Pakistan Army. Dr. Shirazi emphasized the need for a reevaluation of their approach, as the local population, characterized as patriotic, continues to suffer due to a poor strategy that has sown hatred and left the tribes destitute and impoverished.
It is noted that the Pakistani establishment, in the past, had a strained relationship with the people of this region as it provided safe havens to terrorists, a consequence of which is borne by the oppressed population today.
Conflict started over construction of Imam Bargah
It is worth noting that situation has grown increasingly tense in recent days in Parachinar. Incidents have erupted, including an attack on civilians during the construction of an Imam Bargah by Shias in Gander near the Taliban-inhabited area of Bushurhu. An 18-year-old youth lost his life in the attack, and several others sustained injuries.
The attack on Gander village resulted from a dispute over whether the construction was for an Imam Bargah or a mosque. This sparked tensions that quickly escalated, leading to confrontations in multiple areas, including Hundred, Kharklay, and Balshakhail, leaving a total of twelve dead and twenty injured in the ongoing clashes.
Normal life in the district has been severely impacted, with transport routes, educational institutions, and mobile and internet services all suspended. A defamatory voice message from a government website had previously ignited tensions, drawing condemnation from Shiite leaders, who called for the arrest of the responsible individual. Although the police arrested the perpetrator’s brother, the actual instigator, identified as Zeeno Mangal and Saif Allah, remained at large, fueling unrest and extremist rhetoric.
It is well known that Shias have been under continuous threat since the controversial amendments in blasphemy laws. The Shiite communities have become vulnerable which could be easily seen in Parchinar.