Mehrab Shah Afridi
The Tari Mengal tribes, who find themselves trapped amidst the ongoing riots in Kurram district, have appealed to migrate to Afghanistan and enter Pakistan through Torkham. The tribal jirga, representing the Mengal tribes, conducted meetings with security officials and the district administration at Landi Kotal to discuss this matter.
As per official reports, the elders of the Mengal tribes, who have been adversely affected by the Shia-Sunni riots in Kurram district, held separate meetings with the Commandant of Khyber Rifles and officials from the district administration.
These crucial discussions took place at the Landi Kotal FC Cantonment. The Mengal Tribal Jirga urgently requested the authorities to acknowledge that the Mengal tribe is currently besieged from three directions due to the recent outbreak of violent clashes in the Kurram district. They emphasized that the sole viable option for them is to seek refuge in Afghanistan.
Challenges in Providing Medical Care to the Injured
The tribal Jirga strongly advocated for the tribes’ desire to migrate to Afghanistan and enter Pakistan through Torkham. However, there are significant obstacles in effectively treating injured individuals. Numerous families, including women, children, and the elderly, find themselves trapped in the midst of this turmoil, exacerbating the urgency of the situation.
Additionally, the scarcity of essential food supplies further compounds the predicament. Consequently, the authorities have pledged to relay the Jirga’s concerns to higher-ranking officials for further consideration.
Assistant Commissioner Landi Kotal, Irshad Khan, disclosed to TNN that the Tari Mengal tribes have approached them, seeking permission to enter the country by migrating through Torkham.
He emphasized that, while individuals with medical conditions from Afghanistan are permitted to enter Pakistan through Torkham based on humanitarian grounds, the mass migration scenario necessitates careful consultation with various stakeholders. The decision regarding this matter can only be made after thorough deliberation with the concerned parties.
Exhausted from the Burden of Dealing with Deceased Bodies
Among the members of the Jirga, including Malik Munawar Khan, Malik Ashiq, Khad Muhammad, Iqbal Wazir, and other leaders, Malik Munawar, a Sunni sect representative and the head of the Jirga, expressed the multitude of difficulties he faces as he finds himself surrounded from various sides.
Malik Munawar lamented the weariness experienced by his tribe in carrying the bodies of the deceased. He revealed that their people are mercilessly targeted even when they venture into the fields, and their victories in legal battles fail to offer them respite. Prevented from carrying out their duties and responsibilities, they have grown disheartened and now seek a resolution to this perpetual problem.
He further explained that the recent clashes have resulted in a scarcity of food in his region, exacerbating the challenges faced by the injured. Consequently, he has appealed to the Torkham administration, urging them to permit their entry into Pakistan through the border.
Sources indicate that a school was also set ablaze during the recent clashes in Kurram. Local residents have claimed that the targeted school is the same one where eight teachers were tragically killed some time ago.
It is important to note that the recent clashes have claimed the lives of 11 individuals and left 77 others injured.
Where and Between Whom Are the Clashes Taking Place in Kurram District?
In the Kurram district, ongoing clashes have been unfolding in several locations over the past few months. One conflict zone exists between Tari Mengal (Sunnis) and Pewar villages, along with other villages (Shias), in Upper Kurram.
Additionally, a violent conflict is taking place between Boshehra (Ahl e Sunnat) and Dander villages, as well as other villages (Ahl e Shia). In Upper Kurram, clashes are also transpiring between Tari Ghozghari Muqbal, Khumsiya Chamkani (Ahl e Sunnah), and Karman, Kunj Alizai, and other villages (Ahl e Shia).
Similarly, Lower Kurram is witnessing clashes between Khar Kaly and other villages (Ahl e Sunnat) on one side and Balish Khel and other villages (Ahl e Shia) on the other side. As a consequence of these clashes, the loss of life has surpassed nine individuals from both factions.
According to reports, a few days ago, some individuals from Boshehra village attempted to impede the establishment of a new settlement in Dander village in Upper Kurram. Unfortunately, this localized dispute quickly escalated into a sectarian war, subsequently engulfing the entire Kurram district. The conflict has now escalated to the extent that heavy weaponry is being employed by both sides.