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KP Police Chief Denies Terrorist Presence in Swat

IGP Ansari claims security situation under control, recent shooting on school van a case of personal enmity

by Staff Report

Screengrab of protesters in Mingora, Swat

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General of Police (IGP) Moazzam Ansari on Thursday claimed there were no terrorists present in Swat, adding that the security situation was completely under control.

Addressing a press conference in Swat, he said law enforcement personnel had established 18 checkposts in various parts of the mountainous terrain to monitor the movement of suspected elements entering Swat from outside the district. Maintaining that the situation was completely peaceful, he said the morale of police was “high” and they were ready to tackle any untoward situation.

“For several months, the people of Swat have been living in a state of insecurity due to several [terror] incidents that have led to protests,” he acknowledged, noting the sole demand of the demonstrators was assurance of peace and security. Responding to the protests, he said, the Peshawar Corps Commander had visited Swat and met with the elders of a local Jirga, while the chief secretary had met elders in Malakand division.

To a question on the recent attack on a school van that led to the death of the driver and injured two students, the IGP claimed it had been a result of a domestic dispute and was not linked to terrorism. He said this had been determined through separate probes conducted by Swat police and the Counter-Terrorism Department, which had also been validated by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and the IGP’s Office. “I am proud that police and CTD took the case seriously and conducted a scientific investigation into it,” he said. “Evidence and investigation proved that it was not a terrorist attack but result of a domestic dispute between the relatives related to issue of honor,” he said, adding the driver was allegedly killed by his brother-in-law.

According to Ansari, the primary accused has fled to Dubai, while an accomplice has been taken into custody already. “We are using diplomatic channels with the U.A.E. to bring the main culprit back,” he maintained.

“Since the people of Swat have witnessed a lot of difficult and harsh times due to the wave of terrorism in 2007, they could not bear the recent incidents,” he said, explaining the surge in demonstrations over the past few months and urging people to not fear terrorism unnecessarily.

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