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Achin ALP commander arrested but protest continues

Achin ALP commander arrested but protest continues

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Sep 12, 2018 - 19:58

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Undeterred by yesterday suicide attack that killed and wounded dozens of people, the protesting Shinwari tribesmen on Wednesday vowed not to reopen the Jalalabad-Torkham highway until their demands were met.

At least 68 people were killed and 165 others wounded when a suicide bomber targeted their protest rally on Tuesday afternoon in the Momand Dara district.

However, the protest against an Afghan Local police (ALP) commander for the Achin district continued despite the commander’s arrest by police.

Local officials said the ALP commander, accused of killing and torturing local residents, has been arrested along with his two brothers.

But the Shinwari tribe elders said the real culprit was the father of the detainees, Jalal Pacha, and they would keep the busy road blocked until the father was arrested.

They accused the ALP commander, Bilal Pacha, and his father Jalal Pacha of killing and beating innocent people and as well looting people’s belongings.

According to them, they have several times referred to the provincial governor’s office, the police headquarters and even the Presidential Palace to register their complaints.

Attaullah Khogyani, the governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok that the Achin district ALP commander Bilal Pacha and his two brothers Mirwais and Jalil were arrested based on the Shinwari elders’ demand.

He said Bilal Pacha had previously been also arrested based on people’s complaints, but later no one appeared to offer documents and evidence against him, so he had to be released.

Meanwhile, Obaidullah Shinwari, the provincial council deputy chief, said the Shinwari tribe would not end their protest only by the arrest of Bilal Pacha and his brothers.

He told Pajhwok they were not sure if Bilal Pacha and his brothers had really been arrested. He added they would not reopen the highway until the government met their demand.

Hazrat Ali, a Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon member from Nangarhar, said the Shinwari tribe had several times registered their complaints in Nangarhar and Kabulinfo-icon against the same commander, but no one paid attention.

Addressing today’s session of the lower house in Kabul, he accused commander Bilal Pacha of drug smuggling, insecurity and kidnappings for ransom money.

According to him, Bilal Pacha was deputy assistance commander of the Pakistani militant Mangal Bagh-led Lashkari  Islami.

The MP said he met with the interior minister yestesday and asked him fire Bilal Pacha and introduce him to the judicial organs, but the Nangarhar police chief told him over the telephonic that Bilal Pacha was a successful commander in the area.

Jalal Pacha, ALP team leader in the Achin district and his son Bilal Pacha, the ALP commander, are originally from eastern Kunar province.

They joined the peace process around three year back thanks to efforts by National Directorate of Security (NDSinfo-icon) personnel.

pk/ma

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