On Friday, in the Khyber tribal district, three armed men on motorbikes stopped two trailers and torched them. Mounted on the two trailers were four Humvee vehicles, which were Nato supply convos. It is to be noted that there were no deaths thankfully in this unfortunate incident, as the drivers were allowed by the armed men to disembark from their trailers before the transportation vehicles were dashed with petrol and put on fire.

Police and security officials who have been carrying out the investigation over this attack have so far not been able to find the identity of the armed men, nor have they been able to link the attack to any militant organisation. However, the way the attack was carried out, with the drivers being first escorted to safety, and the target of the attacks which were solely the NATO vehicles, point quite clearly to a deeper network with more geopolitical incentives, than a random attack. This attack, although thankfully it was not as serious and had no casualties, can bring to mind the series of attacks that occurred on Nato supply vehicles and oil tankers before the start of Zarb-e-Azb operation in June 2014.

The government needs to take this seriously. These attacks have been far more deadly in the past, with militants killing more than 100 drivers and transporters. For some years, these incidents had stopped—thus, this recent target of the Nato vehicles should be taken as a warning sign by the government that we might see more serious ones in the future. We have to consider the delicate times we are in—Pakistan is in the centre of brokering a precarious peace between the Afghan Taliban, the government and the USA. There are many powers which would orchestrate chaos and violence in our region to sabotage that goal.