COAS visit of Parachinar

July 2, 2017

After visit of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Qamar Javed Bajwa the protesters who were protesting against twin blast in Parachinar that killed over 76 people decided to wrap their demonstration.
Army Chief visited Parachinar on Friday to meet with the families of the victims of the twin blasts that tore through the city last week. The army chief met with tribal elders and members of the Shia community in Parachinar.
Members of the Shia community have been protesting against government inaction following the bombings and had demanded a visit from the Gen Bajwa, PM or the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar. Protesters presented their demands, some of them include the Frontier Constabulary (FC) currently deployed in the city, be replaced by the militia force for the security of Parachinar, and that FC Commandant Malik Umer be removed from his post. They demanded that a report on terrorist incidents in Parachinar should be made public and the Pak-Afghan border be secured. One of the demands included Rs5 million compensation for those killed in the attack, and Rs2.5m for those injured.
After listening the demands of protesters, COAS assured them that security of the area would be enhanced. As per ISPR the demands that were made by the protesters were political and concerned with security. About security demands, COAS directed for deployment of more army troops in the area. He also announced several development projects for the area and said that security situation in the area will be improved after the measures. There are reports of FC Commander Colonel Umer’s dismissal and launching of an inquiry for the sad incident of alleged firing at protesters.
We should appreciate COAS for visiting Parachinar and successfully carrying out negotiations with protesters, but failure of federal government to redress grievances of protesters reflects inability and inefficiency of the leaders in such situations. There is also a question mark on the role of mainstream media, particularly electronic media, to highlight issues of the people. It is unfortunate that media almost completely ignored the seven-day long demonstration of the grieved protesters who had lost their loved ones just few days before Eid.

Visit of COAS is laudable, but absence of federal government says a lot about their inefficiency in such situations.

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