Locals Living In Fear As Taliban Wall Chalking Emerges In South Waziristan
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) slogans were recently found written on the walls of a government school building in Karrama, South Waziristan.
Shahzaman Mehsud, a local journalist from South Waziristan, said that the apparent reemergence of Taliban in the area has raised serious concerns among the resident of Karrama, an area in the suburbs of Tehsil Laddha, South Waziristan.
Another local source, on the condition of anonymity, said that members of the TTP were seen at several places in Karrama recently. On Sunday night, a group of Taliban passed by the Karrama school, after which the wall chalking appeared. Locals say it is obvious that the Taliban had themselves written slogans on the walls. A wave of fear has since engulfed the area.
A police officer from the area, on condition of anonymity, told Naya Daur Media that they cannot act against the TLP on their own unless they have special instructions from higher-ups. “We have no role to play in dealing with the Taliban and terrorism,” he said. Deputy Police Office Laddha Shoukat Ali has confirmed the wall-chalking incident, but did not confirm or deny if Taliban were behind it. He said that the matter was being investigated.
TTP sources also confirmed the wall-chalking, stating that the activity was carried out by the Hamza group of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. “Bismillah the commander of the Hamzah group, along with 35 other members have entered this part of Laddha Tehsil to ‘estore peace in the region and pave the way for Islamic law,” they added.
The TTP has become active in the area in the past few months. Incidents where TTP members were involved in extortion, fundraising campaigns, and attacks on checkpoints were also reported. Taliban had also claimed responsibility for an attack on a security checkpoint in Tiarza sub-division, South Waziristan. Security officials had confirmed the incident in which three Frontier Corps (FC) personnel were killed while three others received injuries.
Gohar Mehsud, a senior journalist and resident of Laddha, South Waziristan explained that TTP members have once again moved to the Mehsud tribe areas in South Waziristan. “Such incidents are a matter of concern as after the conclusion of operation Zarb-e-Azb, the military proclaimed the area safe and allowed the displaced residents to return to their (razed) homes, these patent markings are a silent message from TTP to make their presence in the area felt,” he added
Residents of Karrama and Laddha Tehsil are concerned for their safety in light of these new developments.