Peshawar - Once known as the city of flowers, Peshawar has now transformed into a ravaged urban centre, shaken by suicide attacks, killings and bombings.

The last onslaught, the first of its kind, was a well-equipped militant attack on the heavily guarded Bacha Khan International Airport.

On Saturday night, three rockets, fired by unknown militants from nearby Khyber Agency, landed in the premises of Bacha Khan International Airport.

Luckily, the rockets caused no causality but a house damaged after one of the rockets hit it, triggering a panic among the people.

Followed by heavy gun-fire, a group of five militants started indiscriminate firing at the back side of the airport, drawing the security personnel at the back which allowed five militants to move in from the front.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber rammed his explosive laden-vehicle into the wall of the airport, leaving a void for terrorists to advance.

However, the security personnel killed four militants when they tried to creep into the airport building.

Besides, four other people were also killed and 45 injured in the rocket attacks and exchange of fire.

The five militants who covered their collaborators ran away and hide in an under construction building at Pawakai village.  Tracing their trail on Sunday morning, forces cordoned off the area and shot dead three militants while the two detonated themselves to avoid arrest.

Overall 10 militants were killed while two policemen also lost lives in the operation.

Due to the timely response of the security forces, the attack did not cause as much damage as attacks on Mehran and Kamra base did.

The PAF base lying adjacent to the airport is appeared to the target of the militants.

There was intelligence information, suggesting that militants could target this well-guarded sensitive area with explosives laden-vehicle, suicide bombers and gunmen.  

Peshawar has been repeatedly targeted by militants due to its proximity to the tribal areas, making it a relatively easy target for militants.

The Bacha Khan International Airport is not a military facility but it is also used for military purpose, particularly in FATA operation. Keeping in view the importance of the airport, its security should be enhanced to avert any such attack in future.

Political activation:

In worsened law and order situation, it is getting difficult for political parties to run their election campaigns.   ANP’s public meeting was again targeted, following the blast near its rally in Charsadda, home town of party’s chief Asfandyar Wali Khan.  Despite threats, a number of party workers attended the gathering which was addressed by Asfandyar Wali Khan. The ruling ANP, is being castigated by Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao who changed his party’s name from the Pakistan People’s Party Sherpao to the Qaumi Watan Party in bid to lure Pashtun nationalists.  Retorting to the allegations, the ANP says that no one can become a Pakhtun nationalist by changing party’s name and flag.

Ahead of the elections, political scenario in KPK is changing as several leaders switching loyalties in hope of better deal.

 A PML-N lawmaker, Meher Sultana, from Karak is set to join the PPP.

After developing differences with provincial leadership of the party, she has decided to quit the party. Sultana will be the second PML-N MPA, after Shazia Aurangzeb, who is siding with the PPP.  PML-N KPK President Pir Sabir Shah has submitted a declaration to the KPK assembly speaker, asking him to abolish the membership of Shazia under article 63A of the Constitution.  To attract tribesmen, the JUI-F is actively holding party’s meeting in FATA. It is also raising voice for the rights of tribal people.

Maulana Fazal Rehman, the JUI-F chief, convened a grand tribal jirga in which he offered support for establishing peace in tribal areas.  He said that the jirga should be considered autonomous representative body of the tribal areas and the government should refrain from implementing any decision regarding FATA’s future status without its consent.

Fazal warned the federal and provincial government against issuing any decree, legislation or resolution without taking this jirga into confidence.

Jamaat-e-Islami is making tall claims that it will make a clean sweep in coming polls. A few days back, the JI announced a shadow cabinet for KPK by nominating ex-senior minister and JI leader Sirajul Haq as chief minister, in addition to forming a four-member committee to choose members for the shadow cabinet.

The PTI is much active in the KPK as compared to PML-Q, and other parties. PTI Chairman Imran Khan will address the Insaf Students Federation (ISF) convention in Peshawar on December 20.

All the arrangements in this connection have been finalised. The convention will be held at Malak Tehmash Stadium. Hundreds of students from the province will attend it.