Pakistan

Tall-Parachinar Road: A Bloodbath Route Claims Health-Care Professional Ruqqaya and Three Others

The Tall-Parachinar Road, a crucial route connecting the district of Kurram to the rest of Pakistan, has turned into a bloodbath route with indiscriminate violence. The recent tragic incident involving the loss of health-care professional Ruqqaya and three others underscores the pressing need for a comprehensive assessment of security measures on this crucial thoroughfare.

Tragic incident in January 2024
Ruqqaya, a committed healthcare professional, met a devastating fate on the Tall-Parachinar Road when unidentified militants carried out a deliberate assault on the vehicle she was travelling in. The attackers, with a damaging level of skill, launched a swift and random shooting attack on the car, which tragically resulted in the deaths of the driver and a passenger in the front seat. In the midst of the chaos, Ruqqaya showed incredible bravery and drew on her medical knowledge to instruct her father to take cover under the seat. This tragic incident occurred in the early morning at the Sadda checkpost, where the lack of on-duty officers made the passengers even more vulnerable. The attackers then directed their aggression towards a minibus, escalating the violence on this dangerous route. The arrival of law enforcement was significantly delayed, which only exacerbated the already harrowing situation. As a result, Ruqqaya's father was left injured and forced to grapple with the traumatic loss of his daughter following this brutal assault.

Historical Context
The road's troubled history dates back to 2007, when its closure forced residents of Kurram Valley to divert through alternative routes, namely Kabul and Jalalabad, to reach Peshawar. During this period, the Haqqani Network's brutal actions turned the once-essential passage into a bloodbath. The road witnessed atrocities ranging from slaughter and kidnappings to open firing and bomb blasts, even in the presence of security forces.

Resurgence of Violence
The Haqqani Network has historically been associated with terror on the Tall-Parachinar Road. However, recent incidents show a rise in militant activity. In the past month, the frequency of such attacks increased, resulting in the deaths of more than 40  innocent passengers. The once hazardous journey from Sadda to Tor Ghar has now extended to include Hangu and Peshawar, posing a growing threat to residents of Parachinar. Notably, recent passenger killings have occurred in Hangu district and Peshawar city.

Tragic Incidents
The latest incident, claiming the life of health-care professional Ruqqaya, echoes the horrors of the past. Her brutal demise is reminiscent of the 2008 incident when another health-care professional, Miss Surraya, fell victim to militant violence. These incidents have instilled fear and trauma among the residents of Parachinar, prompting them to demand urgent and effective action from the government, security agencies, and law enforcement.

Public Outcry
The public of Parachinar, traumatized by relentless acts of terror, is demanding accountability and concrete measures to ensure the safety of those traveling on the Tall-Parachinar Road. The road, which was once a lifeline for the region, now symbolises a dire need for immediate attention and robust efforts to bring an end to the reign of terror.

Inquiry about Security Measures
It is puzzling to see a lack of security measures and the absence of on-duty officers at crucial checkpoints, especially considering the history of violence on the Tall-Parachinar Road. What actions will be taken to improve security on this route?

Selective Targeting
What is the reason behind the deliberate targeting of passengers of a specific identity on the Tall-Parachinar Road? What steps are being taken to understand and effectively address the motives behind these targeted attacks?

Call for Justice and Accountability
The people of Parachinar are demanding prompt justice and accountability for those responsible for these acts of violence. What steps is the state taking to speed up investigations and ensure that those accountable for the recent tragedies are swiftly brought to justice?

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