Pakistan’s military launches offensives against the Khyber Agency often enough, and claims huge death tolls of ill-defined “militant” factions, but they seem to have struck a particular chord last night, when members of the Frontier Corps (FC) attacked a village and massacred 15 civilians.
Several thousand protesters from the Khyber Agency marched on Peshawar, the largest Pakistani city near the tribal agencies, and brought the bodies of the victims with them, dumping the corpses outside of a government office.
“They entered our houses and killed our relatives to avenge the killing of six security personnel in the same area on Monday night,” insisted one of the protesters, himself a former FC member.
This is the second major massacre the FC has been accused of in less than a month, as they were also found responsible for Christmas Eve attacks on several Balochistan villages, which killed over 50 civilians.
The FC only operates in Balochistan and the tribal areas, and is given more or less a free hand with its attacks. Large civilian death tolls are common in FC raids, but there are rarely any repercussions for such killings, reflecting the relatively few rights Pashtun tribesmen and Balochs have in modern Pakistan.