News Desk |
The deputy commissioner of North Waziristan has blamed the two parliamentarians affiliated with the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) for instigating the protestors to attack an army check post, which left 13 protestors and one soldier dead and 25 others injured.
Interestingly, DC’s report states that bullets from “miscreants hit a number of protesters and the MNAs vehicles.” Meanwhile, the PTM contests the government account and blames security forces for firing at unarmed civilians. There is, however, no independent corroboration of either of the versions.
The PTM contests the government account and blames security forces for firing at unarmed civilians. There is, however, no independent corroboration of either of the versions.
In an internal report titled “Clash and Casualties in North Waziristan District”, the deputy commissioner has provided a detailed account of the incident at the military check post in Kharqamar on May 26. While pinning the blame on the two PTM-affiliated MNAs, Ali Wazir and Mohsin Javed Dawar, the DC has submitted the two-page report to government on May 28.
Security forces launch operation, arrest two suspects
In the report, he stated, the security forces launched an operation on May 24 during which two suspects were detained and a soldier was wounded. The residents of Doga Macha village marched towards the Kharqamar check post, damaged the security barrier and raised anti-state slogans to protest the detention of the two suspects.
The report said that army showed restraint and did not respond. On May 25, it said, the authorities agreed to release one of the suspects on the condition that the protesters would end their sit-in after negotiations with a Jirga of 12 notables in Boya.
MNAs enter in North Waziristan
“However, on the instigation of MNA Ali Wazir and MNA Mohsin Javed Dawar, the protesters again gathered near the check post at night and awaited the arrival of the parliamentarians,” Dawn quoted him as stating in the report.
The security forces launched an operation on May 24 during which two suspects were detained and a soldier was wounded.
On May 26, the paper said, the two parliamentarians entered North Waziristan tribal district from Saidgai check post and reached Kharqamar check post at 09.30am, along with about 300 supporters.
“Troops at the first barrier requested the MNAs to join the protesters’ camp using the alternate route and not the main road but in return, Ali Wazir used abusive language against the Army and instigated the crowd to attack the post,” the report alleged.
Read more: PTM’s jig is up: Ali Wazir arrested
Stone pelting and firing by protesters
“Protesters started intense stone pelting and armed men with parliamentarians also started firing at the post. Army fired warning shots and asked protesters not to get close to the post and stop the fire immediately,” the report said.
However, the post came under fire from multiple directions from the distance of 100 meters to 200 meters. “Meanwhile, protesters charged at the post and reached within troops’ deployment and tried to snatch weapons,” it said.
“At this stage, Army soldiers opened fire at the positions across the causeway from where the fire was being received. Fire was opened for a very short duration,” it said. However, bullets from “miscreants hit a number of protesters and the MNAs vehicles.” Firing stopped within a short time of this activity, leaving behind a number of casualties on the road and the nearby nullah”, it said.
Ali Wazir used abusive language against the Army and instigated the crowd to attack the post,” the report alleged.
Subsequently, personnel of the Quick Reaction Force were called in who shifted the dead and the injured to the Army set-up in Boya. Initially, the report said, only two bodies were found within 40/50 meters of the post, however, later, six bodies were found 150/400 meters away from the post. Five more bodies were found by patrolling troops at night approximately 1,500 meters away from the site of the incident.
The death toll among the locals, it said, stood at 13 with 25 wounded. The military suffered one death and seven injuries. MNA Wazir was arrested with seven individuals from the nullah while he was fleeing while MNA Dawar escaped to Hamzoni/Darpakhel village, the report concluded.
MNA Mohsin Dawar arrested
Four days after the alleged attack on the army check post Mohsin Dawar was reportedly arrested. Reports suggest that the PTM leader was arrested from North Waziristan, however, the family sources told The Express Tribune that Dawar had voluntarily surrendered. The family sources said that a Jirga was convened on the matter and the MNA was advised to surrender and defend himself in a court of law.
Bilawal demands production orders for MNA Ali Wazir
Following Ali Wazir’s arrest, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari demanded National Assembly speaker to issue production orders for the arrested MNA. The PPP chairman said Wazir’s production orders should be issued so that he could attend Friday’s session of the National Assembly and present his viewpoint.
Firing stopped within a short time of this activity, leaving behind a number of casualties on the road and the nearby nullah”, it said.
According to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly 2007, “When a member is arrested on a criminal charge or for a criminal offense or is sentenced to imprisonment by a court of law or is detained under an executive order, the committing judge, magistrate or executive authority, as the case may be, shall immediately intimate such fact to the Speaker indicating the reasons for the arrest, detention or conviction, as the case may be, as also the place of detention or imprisonment of the member in the appropriate form set out in the Fourth Schedule.”
The speaker should then inform the members of parliament about the development, according to Rule 105.
Ali Muhammad Khan calls for expulsion of Dawar, Wazir
On Friday, the deputy speaker was forced to adjourn the National Assembly session as parliamentarians from government and opposition sides came face-to-face on the assembly floor after Khan’s scathing criticism on the PTM leaders. His speech included certain non-parliamentary terms for Wazir and Dawar.
Khan accused Dawar and Wazir of being “touts” of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, and called for their expulsion as members of Pakistan’s Parliament.
The Express Tribune reported that his provocative comments drew a sharp response from the opposition benches as PPP leaders, including Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, stood up to register their protest midway through Khan’s address. Later, Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) joined in the protest and surrounded the speaker’s dais.
Subsequently, while addressing a press conference outside the National Assembly, the PPP chairman said he had written a letter to National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser saying that production orders should be issued for the MNAs.
Bilawal said that despite having evidence that the letter had been received, “today in the NA we were lied to and told that they did not get this letter,” Dawn quoted him as saying.
He raised the demand for issuance of the production order again, saying that the parliament should follow its own rules and laws. However, he alleged, the government just wants a selected opposition and judiciary.