PESHAWAR, Dec 10: Speakers paid rich tribute to slain human rights activist of Khyber Agency Zartif Khan Afridi at a condolence reference here on Saturday and demanded of the government to pay compensation to his family.

A large number of people and friends of the slain Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Khyber Agency coordinator, who had been killed by unidentified armed men on Dec 8, attended the reference and lauded his services.

The reference was arranged by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network and Amn Tehrik, a conglomerate of civil society organisations. Prominent among the speakers were Idrees Kamal, Shamim Shahid, Ijaz Durrani, Dr Sarfaraz, Malik Jarar and Nehal Afridi.

The participants through a unanimously adopted resolution demanded of the government to provide security to rights activists working in the conflict zone and announce Zartif Afridi Human Rights Award for activists in tribal areas. They also demanded of the government to announce national award for the slain right activist.

Mr Kamal said that killing of Zartif was not the first incident of its kind. He criticised government for its failure to protect the rights activists. “The government and governor should take notice of the situation and provide protection to the members of civil society in the tribal region,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Shahid said that Zartif was killed because he was working for restoration of peace and rights of people in Khyber Agency.

He said that he had sacrificed his life for peace and human rights. He added that other people would carry forward the torch lit by the late activist.

Mr Durrani was of the view that the slain worker was very active about human, women and children rights in one of the most difficult regions of the world. He said that he was working for social change.

Mr Jarar said that they asked Zartif to shift to Peshawar when he received threats, however, he refused to do so. Paying tribute to the slain activist, he said that he was a man with a progressive vision. “Now we are clueless as to who will replace him, as such dedicated and selfless people are rarely available,” he said.

Later, the participants staged a protest demonstration on Sher Shah Suri Road near Peshawar Press Club against the killing of the human rights activist.

The protesters, holding banners and placards inscribed with demands for early arrest of the killers, also chanted slogans against his murderers and demanded of the government to provide security to human rights activists working in the conflict zone.

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