You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of mankind in your own native soil. [Mohammed Ali Jinnah]

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bazid Khel Villagers up in arms against Taliban

Sometime ago, it was in the news that a Union Council Nazim is leading an uprising against the Taliban along with the villagers of 'BazidKhel' near Bara.

I wonder that this courageous act is getting any attention at all? Its a one-of-a-kind valiant effort of one village to stand-up to intolerable reign of terror unleashed by the Taliban.

A story by Daud Khattak, on one of the mailing lists goes as follows:

* Committees organise patrols by volunteers to guard against possible attack to avenge killing of nine Taliban

By Daud Khattak

PESHAWAR: The hujra (community guest house) of a union council (UC) nazim is abuzz with activity in Bazidkhel village, on the outskirts of Peshawar, where villagers had killed nine Taliban last week.

On February 4, the villagers had killed nine Taliban, who had come in two cars from the neighbouring Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency to abduct UC Nazim Fahimur Rehman, who is behind the villagers uprising against a Taliban group from Khyber Agency.

Following the Talibans killing, their groups chief had warned the people of Bazidkhel, through his illegal FM radio, of a bloody revenge.To guard themselves against a Taliban attack, the villagers have taken up arms and have started patrolling the streets of the village, 20 kilometres from Peshawar. Speaking on his FM channel, the groups chief had warned the villagers to hoist black flags on their houses, to show they were not involved in the killing of the nine men, or face a bloody revenge.

Volunteer groups: However, the villagers defied the threat and formed volunteer groups to patrol the streets to guard against a possible attack. A six-foot-high wall has been constructed just behind the main entrance of the UC nazims hujra. This wall has been completed to avoid an abrupt assault from the front entrance, said Rehman. On the roof, labourers were busy erecting a boundary wall, usually used by villagers to take cover during a clash.

Praising the courage and cooperation of the villagers, Rehman said, Let them attack and we shall come out with a tougher response.With an AK-47 assault rifle slung over his shoulder and his cell phone constantly ringing, Rehman claimed he had the support of the people from 28 union councils. Nearly two dozen armed men sat in the compound of his hujra. Others guarded the front gate while another group sat alert on the rooftop. Rehman was happy with the cooperation and support provided by the government and the police. Were going to meet the NWFP governor on Monday, said the bearded nazim, in his late 30s.He said Bazidkhel and the surrounding areas were known for their long-standing blood feuds but the groups attack threat has brought us together. He said all tribesmen had set aside their personal enmities and had joined hands to face the common enemy.

The local Taliban chief had said the nine men had gone to the village to attend a condolence meeting. However, the UC nazim claimed he had received threats from the group in Khyber a week before the February 4 killings. Rehman said the group had a support base in Bazidkhel before the February 4 incident. However, all the people were now united against the group, he added.

Locals said night patrols had been increased in the area and committees had been formed to oversee patrols by volunteers. Cell phones had been distributed among the village elders and heads of the committees for coordination and quick reaction to any eventuality, they said.

1 comment:

ISHAQ said...

With my aoplogy to the elders of my region i like to say that the basic problem are the long beard of the BAZID-KHEL that call themselves religious but are the spys of the GROUP LEADER of taliban. They are a serious threat to the peace and prosperity of the locality. They are not aware of what they are doing in the name of islam might damage islam. Its best for the locality to get rid of them in anyway possible. I salute the courage of the brave NAZIM and the courageous friends of the BAZID-KHEL. ISHAQ