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Army chief announces safe city project for Parachinar: DG ISPR

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Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has announced a ‘safe city project’ for Parachinar, where recent sectarian violence has claimed over 70 lives so far.

“Additional troops have arrived in Parachinar. As the safe city project has been announced, progress will soon be made in this regard,” DG Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor said on Friday.

The DG ISPR said there was no discrimination in terms of security across the country. “All Pakistanis are equal. We are above any sects. We are Pakistanis and Muslims,” he said, adding the nation had to collectively defeat the menace of terrorism through unity and “we will succeed in doing so.”

Earlier, Gen Qamar reached Parachinar to visit victims of twin blasts, the military’s media wing Inter Services Public Relations said.

During his visit, the Army chief was briefed about the security situation and updated on the Parachinar incident. Gen Bajwa is also scheduled to meet tribal elders later today.

Earlier on Tuesday, the army chief’s visit to Parachinar was postponed because of bad weather. The military’s media wing had issued a statement that the army chief would spend the second day of Eidul Fitr in Parachinar, where two blasts killed 72 people a few days ago and protests against “government apathy” over the terrorist attack are still underway. The ISPR said Gen Bajwa’s visit had been postponed as his helicopter was unable to reach the location “due to bad weather”. The army chief will “go immediately” when the weather conditions are favourable, it had added.

Thousands of people began a sit-in at Shaheed Park, Parachinar, soon after the two bombs went off on Friday evening, as shoppers were out buying supplies in preparation for the breaking of the fast on one of the last days of the holy month of Ramazan. At least 75 people were killed and many more wounded when the bombs ripped through the busy marketplace crowded with shoppers.

The crowd, already angry over what they see as the failure of authorities to ensure security, has become more enraged by the shooting dead of three protesters by police trying to keep order. Authorities have not confirmed that three protesters were killed, saying only they were investigating.

Enraged mourners protesting last week’s deadly bombings in Parachinar refused to budge on Wednesday as they rejected monetary compensation offered by the prime minister saying they would not call off their weeklong sit-in until the army chief visits the region.

Premier Nawaz Sharif announced 1 million rupees compensation for the families of every victim of the twin blasts, and 500,000 rupees for the wounded, but the protesters dismissed that, saying “we need to be recognised as human beings first”.

The prime minister has already directed Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra to pay the money. Interestingly, the directives came almost a week after the deadly attacks claimed by a faction of the sectarian terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

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Muslim Global: Army chief announces safe city project for Parachinar: DG ISPR
Army chief announces safe city project for Parachinar: DG ISPR
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