BANNU: Pakistan authorities talks with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are underway in Afghanistan to secure freedom of the security officers captured by its militants following a terrorist attack on the Counter-Terrorism Department’s (CTD) compound in Bannu.
On Sunday, under interrogated militants inside the CTD facility took over its compound, held interrogators hostage and demanded safe evacuation to Afghanistan. They threatened the hostage security officers with death if their demands were not addressed.
According to a foreign news agency, Pakistani authorities opened talks to try to resolve a stand-off with the TTP who were holding several security personnel hostage after seizing control of a counter-terrorism facility in the country’s northwest a day earlier.
“We are in negotiations with the central leaders of the Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan,” confirmed Mohammad Ali Saif, spokesperson of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, on Monday. He also confirmed that a security official was killed by the militants but did not elaborate further.
The spokesperson warned of strict action if the armed men do not surrender.
Internet services have been suspended in Bannu and the roads leading to and from the Bannu Cantonment have been blocked.
Miranshah Road and Jumma Khan Road are closed for all sorts of movements. The sources have claimed that the terrorists are demanding a safe air route to Afghanistan.
Four police personnel martyred
A day earlier, four police personnel were martyred and as many others wounded in an overnight terrorist attack on the Bargai Police Station of Lakki Marwat area.
Terrorists launched an armed assault on the police station from two sides. A fierce exchange of fire took place between the police and the outlaws that left four policemen dead and as many injured.
The attackers escaped after the assault. Police have launched a search operation in the area for the saboteurs.
Constables Ibrahim, Imran, Khairur Rahman and Sabz Ali are among the deceased.
Law and order situation in KP
The law and order situation in KP has gone south over the last few weeks as an increase has been noticed in threats and attacks on security forces as well as high-profile political personalities.
According to media report, the police are on high alert across the province after the recent spike in attacks in areas including Peshawar, southern districts, and the Mardan region.
The publication, citing a source, said: “Apart from the police, senior politicians have complained of receiving threats. The houses of some of them have also come under grenade attack.”
Provincial spokesperson of the Awami National Party (ANP) Samar Bilour has also shared that their provincial president Aimal Wali Khan had received a call about a plan of attack on his life.
Samar said that their leadership’s protection is the state’s responsibility, adding that they will be left with no other option but to take the protection of their leaders into their own hands if the state does not act.
“Apart from Aimal Wali Khan, Sardar Hussain Babak and others have received threats as well while the house of MPA Faisal Zeb was attacked twice in the last few weeks,” Samar Haroon Bilour had said last week.
Apart from the attack on the house of ANP MPA Faisal Zeb in Shangla, a grenade was hurled at the house of party Senator Hidayatullah in Peshawar in recent months.
The wave of terrorist attacks has risen across the province in the last few months, the report said. At least 118 terrorist incidents were reported in KP from mid-August till the last week of November, according to official numbers.
At least 26 policemen, 12 personnel of other law enforcement agencies and 17 civilians were killed in terror incidents across the KP. Moreover, 18 policemen, 10 civilians, and 37 law enforcement agencies personnel suffered injuries in these attacks.
A dozen districts, including Peshawar, Mardan, Bajaur, Mohmand, Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Kohat, Bannu, and Nowshera came under attack in November.