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South Waziristan Tehsil Under Curfew For A Week

In the Shaktoi area of South Waziristan tribal district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a curfew has been in place since an operation by security forces last week, resulting in strict restrictions on movement.

Earlier, on the 3rd of September, security forces had been attacked using an improvised explosive device (IED) in Shaktoi area of South Waziristan, resulting in the loss of three personnel, including an officer, while six others were wounded.

A search operation was started in the area subsequently, and arrests were made based on the concept of collective responsibility.

Reports circulating on social media claimed that upwards of 100 people had been arrested in the search operation, and locals had been subjected to rough treatment.

A journalist from Waziristan, speaking on condition of anonymity, tells Naya Daur Media that arrests continue in the name of investigating the attack on security forces. He continues, stating that there have also been arrests today, and people have been subjected to violence.

Further, the journalist states that the concept of collective responsibility for crimes has come to an end in the merged districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa after the end of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), but despite this, people have not only been taken into custody but there has also been violence against residents.

For the past four days, according to the journalist, people have not been permitted to leave their homes or buy food items from the market. The journalist also states that protests have spread to other areas of South Waziristan, as well as North Waziristan.

Now, the demonstrators have moved towards an area of Razmak where a unit of the Pakistan Army is stationed. There have also been protests in Razmak itself, D.I. Khan and Tank. He further spoke of reports about two protesters who have died in the violence, although authorities still have not confirmed this.

MNA from North Waziristan Mohsin Dawar has written that one of the fundamental demands of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) had been that authorities must refrain from violence against innocent people after any untoward incident, but that this has not been the case, as the situation in Shaktoi indicates.

Journalist Sheheryar Mehsud, who belongs to South Waziristan, shared a video of Wajihullah, a 12-year-old boy from the Shaktoi area, in which he claims that dozens of people in the area were not only arrested but also tortured after the blast. The boy says, “I was also beaten by security forces and I fled to another area.”

He adds: “Children and the elderly have been arrested and dragged out and we have been subjected to a lot of oppression.”

Shehryar Mehsud has told Naya Daur Media that there has been a complete curfew in the area for three days and there is no cellular phone network access, so there is no reliable news about what is happening.

He adds that the Shaktoi area is so remote that it is difficult to ascertain how people obtain food and medicines under curfew. Mehsud adds that since the curfew has been in place for two days, it is likely that people have food rations stored at home. But if the curfew is extended, he says, there are likely to be problems.

Responding to a question, he says that news was coming in through social media that two people had been killed in the violence but it could not be confirmed yet, because there was no means of communication in these areas.

When Naya Daur Media spoke to the South Waziristan district administration in Tank about the situation, an official on the telephone said that he did not know what was going on there, and recommended that such inquiries be directed to government officials in Wana.

However, despite repeated attempts at reaching authorities in Wana, there has been no response yet.

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