This was not the first time the city of Parachinar suffered at the hands of extremist groups. There have been attempts to flush out the Taliban through conducting military operations ,few of which were successful. However the Kurram agency still remains the heart of the conflict. In 2017 alone three major attacks were carried out by terrorists, two of them by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and one by Jamat-ul-Ahrar. 

The recent attacks before Eid-Ul-Fitar were claimed by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, where 75 people were martyred. The purpose of the protesters was to point out the lack of security in the area. The city is inhabited by a religious minorities which continue to be targeted, especially the Shia population. 

It is unfortunate that a community of Pakistan is not acquiring equal treatment as the rest of the country. It’s my understanding that the protesters are not just demanding justice, but also to be treated the same way as the religious majorities. The response from PM Nawaz Sharif came after a week since the incident, where he announced a compensation package. The late response showed the value of the minority groups in the country. On social media comparisons were drawn between the three terrorist attacks in Quetta, Parachinar and Bahawalpur where the users questioned the motives of the political parties and why these lives were not treated as importantly as the others. 

The protests were a success as it declared Parachinar a safe city, but in order to maintain this peace trust and acceptance needs to develop between the people of the city and the state. 

FAARAN SHAHID,  

Islamabad, July 7.