LAKKI MARWAT: The district administration’s efforts to convince elders of Janikhel tribe to end agitation and bury the slain tribal chief Malik Naseeb Khan proved futile on Sunday as the tribesmen vowed to continue the sit-in until the killers were arrested.

A government team headed by Wazir tribal subdivision assistant commissioner held talks with the elders in the Janikhel area to pursue them to end the sit-in, said an official.

Unknown gunmen had shot dead Malik Naseeb in Zindi Alikhel area of Janikhel on May 31. The killing sparked protests in the town as the tribesmen and relatives of the slain elder placed the body outside the police station building. The protesters demanded arrest of the killers and implementation of a peace agreement the government had signed with tribal elders in March.

During the last seven days several rounds of talks were held between the elders and officials to reach a peaceful solution to the issue, but to no avail, claimed the official.

He said the government was serious in implementation of the agreement it had signed with the elders.

“During the last two months Bannu division commissioner Shaukat Ali Yousafzai has held several meetings with the Janikhel tribal chiefs to review the pace of implementation of the peace agreement,” he added.

On Sunday, a delegation of Awami National Party headed by former senator Baz Mohammad Khan protested on a rural road leading to Janikhel area when they were stopped at Kinger Bridge.

“The ANP leaders and workers were on way to the town to express solidarity with the protesters,” said local ANP leader Malik Ali Sarwar. He condemned the elder’s killing and said stopping political leaders from joining the protesters was condemnable.

According to reports, the ANP delegation was later allowed to proceed to the town.

On the other hand, the Janikhel elders alleged the closure of roads leading to their town had caused shortage of food items in the town.

Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2021

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