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Rights watchdog concerned over Tirah conflict

LAHORE, March 25: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Monday expressed deep concern at the prevailing situation in the Tirah valley of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber tribal agency, said a press release by the rights watchdog. hrcpThe remote valley has been a flashpoint for violence between rival militant groups, and recent clashes between the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and the rival Ansaarul Islam have led to hundreds fleeing the troubled mountainous area. “It is regrettable that the government has been unable to establish its writ in the valley, where the violence perpetrated by extremists has been continuing for several months,” the HRCP said in a statement. According to recent reports, the TTP has taken control of a major portion of Tirah valley, overrunning the last bastion of their rival group on March 19. “It seems that after the recent escalation of violence, control over a sizeable territory has been lost to the militants,” said the human rights watchdog, urging the government to take the necessary and proper measures required to “immediately reestablish control in the valley”. Last week, a car bomb tore through a camp in Jalozai set up for internally displaced persons (IDPs), many of them displaced due to the fighting in Tirah. The blast killed 17 people, among them three women, and injured 28 others. In its press release, the HRCP also condemned the bomb attack, extending its sympathy and condolences to those who had suffered due to the blast. Furthermore, the commission urged the government to make adequate provisions to ensure the well-being and speedy rehabilitation of those who have been internally displaced due to this conflict.]]>

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