PESHAWAR: Tribesmen from the Ahmadzai Wazir clan, Wana South Waziristan on Tuesday attacked the pro-government Taliban militant’s office in Dera Ismael Khan and set it on fire in protests triggered by a youths killing in the heart of the metropolitan.
As a result of the fire, almost all of the Taliban office which is located in Madeena Colony was burnt along with its belongings and two vehicles parked inside. The militants, however, managed to escape before the arrival of angry tribesmen.
The Ahmadzai Wazir tribesmen attacked the Taliban office in reaction to the killing of a young lawyer, Advocate Muhammad Idrees who belonged to South Waziristan. He was shot dead while his brother was injured by a group of Taliban militants who opened fire when both the brothers were present in their father’s shop on Monday.
Earlier, Idrees and the pro-government militants had entered into a heated debate over a vehicular accident. Later a group of the militants came to Idrees’s father’s shop in Nizam Bazar; shot him dead, injured his brother and made a quick escape.
Afterwards, the Ahmadzai Wazir clan organized their traditional lashkar and attacked the militant office, but occupants of the office had disappeared. The present situation is tense all over Dera Ismael Khan City and almost all bazaars and shopping centres are closed.
Thousands of tribesmen from two Wazir and Mehsud tribes of North and South Waziristan had held a Jirga in D. I. Khan on Monday and gave a days deadline for the arrest of the killers and specifically, the main culprit Sher Khan Mehsud, the brother of Misbahuddin Mehsud who heads the peace committee.
Police had assured the protesters that the killers would be arrested within 24 hours. As the deadline expired at 12:00 pm on Tuesday without any arrest, thousands of tribesmen resorted to violence in protest.
The tribesmen from North and South Waziristan had agreed on the five points to be presented to the government including the arrest of the murderers and their death sentence, recovery of missing persons, and that offices of Taliban ‘good or bad’ are not acceptable in D. I. Khan and Bannu. They said that a peaceful protest will be continued subject to the Jirga’s satisfaction regarding the above demands.
Dera Ismael Khan Commissioner Mr Abdul Ghafoor Baig in a statement on Tuesday confirmed that the tribesmen had attacked the militant’s office, however, he was reluctant to accept that they were pro-government militants and added that efforts for the arrest of those who murdered the lawyer and injured his brother were underway.
However, the police arrested hundreds of people for setting the militant’s property on fire. They have so far arrested over 2,000 tribal people.
Tribesmen believe that some elements wanted to create tension in D. I. Khan by killing Idrees Wazir as the all Pashtuns sit-in is underway in Islamabad.
They say that the murder of a Wazir tribesman was an attempt to derail the Islamabad dharna. Thousands of tribal people are attending the sit-in following the killing of Naqeeb Mehsud who was killed in Karachi on January 13 in a fake police encounter.
Some people say that the protest in D. I. Khan has close coordination with leading members of the tribe attending the dharna in the capital.
Additional reporting by Hamid Khan Wazir