PESHAWAR: The traders belonging to militancy-hit North Waziristan Agency (NWA) have threatened to march on Islamabad if government fails to announce a compensation package for them till April 17.

Addressing a news conference at Peshawar Press Club on Thursday, Dr Abdul Rauf Qureshi, the provincial president of Anjuman-i-Tajran, said that North Waziristan was badly affected due to militancy and military operation that forced the local people to vacate their houses and shops.

He said the military action against terrorists had not only caused mass displacement from the tribal region, but also affected business and trade activities in North Waziristan Agency.

Flanked by Markazi Tanzeem-i-Tajran president Mujeebur Rehman, North Waziristan traders’ leaders Noor Afzal Khan, Mohammad Shafiq Khan and others, Dr Rauf said that the traders left their businesses of billions of rupees after launch of the operation but their shops and markets were turned into ruins and they found none of their valuable items when they returned to the area.

He said that around 21,000 traders of North Waziristan were affected due to the military operation. He said that political agent had assured them to take up the issue with relevant authorities but no step was taken to compensate them.

Dr Rauf said that government was least bothered to pay attention to their grievances. He also criticised the Fata parliamentarians for not highlighting the problems of tribal traders. He said that they were just serving their own interests.

He demanded of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra to play their role in acceptance of the demands of the affected traders of North Waziristan Agency otherwise they would march on Islamabad to observe sit-in outside National Press club on April 17.

He said that the sit-in would continue till announcement of a comprehensive package for the tribal traders.

Published in Dawn, Aprill 13th, 2018

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