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Parachinar: Why Do They Call it Pakistan’s Gaza

Parachinar, situated on the Pak-Afghan border is currently experiencing an ongoing and distressing ordeal of violence and sectarian animosity over the past few days.  Residents have been subjected to a deeply challenging situation, as they have been cut off and completely isolated from the rest of the Country.  Along with health, economic and food crisis, the district management is playing a worse part to cut off electricity and internet access. A sectarian violence and conflict erupted when residents of Parachinar on, October 26, were heading towards the town in convoy under the security of police were targeted by terrorists which resulted in the loss of six lives and several others were injured.

Sequence of Events pior Intense conflicts

As a results of controversial video, on October 20, 2023, a tragic incident occurred In Shalozan Tangi where a group of hardworking individuals belong to Turi Tribe became victims of a brutal and heartless massacre. These hardworking individuals, whose hands bear the signs of their tireless efforts, have been unjustly selected as the blameless casualties in a relentless wave of violence that currently engulfs the area.

The journey into darkness accelerated on October 23, 2023 when a member of the Turi tribe, who had just returned from Qatar, was confronted by attackers. Their journey abruptly came to a halt, as they were interrogated and subjected to questioning. Tragically, their mere admission of hailing from Parachinar became the decisive factor that sealed their destiny. Tragically, a life was taken and three individuals were subjected to severe injuries due to a relentless onslaught of gunfire.

October 26, 2023 marked a distressing day for the people of Parachinar as they were confronted with a heartbreaking predicament. There have been reports and cautionary messages circulating, indicating the presence of potential threats along the regular paths, particularly at Sada, Pir Qayum, and Bagan. In order to protect their safety and well-being, residents embarked on a journey to Peshawar with the assistance and presence of the police. Unfortunately, their concerns were justified. In a region predominantly inhabited by Sunni individuals, a devastating incident occurred where a barrage of gunfire targeted a convoy, tragically leading to the loss of six precious lives and causing severe injuries to six others.

Roots of Despair & Injustice

The origins of despair lie not in an abrupt crisis, but in the culmination of long-standing grievances and ongoing injustices. The call for justice in response to the tragic incident of the seven teachers’ massacre at Tari Mengal school on May 4, 2023, continues to go unaddressed. It is deeply concerning that no arrests have been made in this situation. The lack of action taken by the Tari Mengal tribe towards addressing the suffering of the slain Shia teachers is disheartening and further widens the divide between communities.

The Importance of Upholding Human Rights in Media Representation

Importantly, it is essential to recognise that this ongoing conflict is not simply a matter of land disagreement. Instead, external forces have manipulated the situation, and both Maqbal and Parrai have actively engaged in acts of aggression against the Turi tribe. The manipulation orchestrated by Mullah Eid Nazar has resulted in a distressing increase in violence, causing significant harm to the social fabric of Parachinar.
Furthermore, it is crucial to acknowledge that the ongoing conflict has unfortunately escalated into a sectarian nature, primarily due to the actions and influence of an elusive individual commonly referred to as “the Mulla Eid Nazar.” By utilising social media, he has fostered-discord, portraying the conflict as a religious divide, and drawing troubling comparisons between Shia Muslims and Israelis. This harmful manipulation exacerbates the existing tensions even more.
It is crucial to recognise and address the distressing reality that the mainstream media has predominantly chosen to remain silent regarding the massacre in Parachinar. This silence must be acknowledged and rectified to uphold human rights.

Sectarian Manipulation, A Distorted Narrative and Unknown External Forces

The unfortunate situation that initially revolved around land and forest disputes in the Upper Kurram region has now escalated dangerously, with sectarian tensions coming into play. A person with manipulative tendencies, who is commonly referred to as “the Mulla Eid Nazar,” has utilized social media platforms to instigate acts of violence. His rhetoric that promotes division draws comparisons between Shia Muslims and Israelis, fuelling sectarian tensions that have resulted in widespread conflict and suffering throughout the region.

It is crucial to emphasise that the current conflict does not revolve around a territorial disagreement between the Turi tribe and the Bangash of Central Kurram, nor the Maqbal or Parrai tribes. Instead, external forces have manipulated the conflict, leading to Maqbal and Parrai actively engaging in aggression against the Turi tribe, which violates their human rights. The actions carried out by Mullah Eid Nazar have resulted in a deeply alarming increase in violence.

Educaton, Health and Food Crisis

Current situations in Kurram not only paralysed economic activities but also resulted in education, health and food crisis. Schools are closed for the last two weeks, hospitals are treating only emergency cases and shortage of food has become worse. The road supply is cut-off from the rest of the country which created medicine and daily essentials shortage. Patients who need treatment from other cities are locked down, especially cancel patients. Those who came from abroad who had returned tickets or were ready to go abroad have missed their flights

Isolation, Desolation and Human Rights

One of Turi Tribe’s elder expressed his concerns as: we are currently experiencing a grave violation of their human rights and being subjected to isolation and desolation. This region has been cut off from the rest of the world, with its internet connection deliberately severed, neighbouring Sunni regions such as Sadda and Baggan continue to uphold their interconnectedness,  we are on continuous and merciless onslaught of powerful missiles and mortar fire, causing the loss of precious lives. We appeal to our common humanity and collective moral compass. we are pleading for assistance, and in dire need of relief. The national & and international community must intervene and put an end to this violence, while also addressing the root causes of their distress.

Religious stakeholders, tribal elders and local government officials have been failed in brokering ceasefire because of chaos and violation of different groups. District police officer Mohammad Imran routinely confirmed the ceasefire in four major areas, including Sadda, Baleshkhel, Maqbal and Kanj Alizai which he did the same for last few days.

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