At least one person was shot dead in Kohistan following an argument between Frontier Corps (FC) personnel and locals over the alleged assault of a taxi driver by FC men on Saturday.
Station House Officer (SHO) Dasu Muhammad Haq Hashmi told Dawn an argument erupted between FC personnel and a taxi driver when the taxi hit a passing FC convoy conducting a routine patrol on the Karakoram Highway.
According to the SHO, FC men got out of their car and beat up the taxi driver, after which locals gathered at the spot and engaged in a heated exchange with the FC personnel.
The FC men began aerial firing in order to disperse the crowd, the police official said. When they were unsuccessful in doing so, they opened fire on the crowd, he claimed. As a result of the firing, a 23-year-old local, Farooq, received bullet injuries and died.
A resident of the area, Alam Zeb, while speaking to Dawn alleged that the FC personnel had opened fire on civilians who were demanding the arrest of the FC constables involved in the alleged assault.
Another resident, trader Gul Shahzada, told Dawn that Farooq was employed in a bank as an office boy. Shahzada said he himself was not among the protesters, but ran to save his life when the firing began.
Locals have blocked the Karakoram Highway to protest the killing of Farooq and are chanting slogans against FC personnel, eyewitnesses and police confirmed.
The Karakoram Highway is a major trade route which is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the protest has impacted the flow of traffic.
The SHO said talks are ongoing with an FC commanding officer for the arrest of the officer responsible for the death of Farooq.
Assistant Commissioner Kohistan Muhammad Abid said a First Information Report would be filed against the FC officer involved.
The Deputy Inspector General Hazara Saeed Wazir told DawnNews the Karakoram Highway would be opened for traffic soon.
“Justice will be served and an investigation will be launched into the incident,” he said.
The FC has declined to comment on the matter as yet.
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