Rallies in Swat, Parachinar demand peace, action against terrorists

Published September 19, 2022
Protesters stage a rally at Nishat Chowk, Swat, on Sunday. — Dawn
Protesters stage a rally at Nishat Chowk, Swat, on Sunday. — Dawn

SWAT/PARACHINAR/MOHMAND: Streets of busy Mingora Bazaar echoed with slogans ‘we want peace in Swat’ as hundreds of protesters gathered to condemn the recent terror incidents and demand action to stop resurgence of terrorists in the valley on Sunday.

The protesters comprised a large number of youths, elders, lawyers, transporters, traders, doctors and students, who held banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the terrorists and seeking peace.

The protest was organised by Swat Qaumi Jirga and Swat Olasi Pasoon. Apart from civil society and peace activists, leaders of all the political parties except Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf addressed the gathering.

Activists, including Zahid Khan, Brigadier retired Saleem Khan, Abdul Jabbar Khan, Sher Shah Khan, Akhtar Ali, Ayub Asharey, Dr Khalid Mahmood, Idrees Bacha, Sardar Yousafzai, Wakeel Khan, Mukhtiar Khan Yousafzai, Umar Ali Yousafzai, and others spoke on the occasion.

They said they had a one-point agenda to demand peace in Swat. They said they won’t allow another wave of militancy sweeping their valley. They said they demanded peace from the state, and if it failed to do so, they would rise and take action for peace in their land. They vowed to not allow terrorists and extremists regroup in Swat.

Protest sit-in planned in Mohmand against targeted killing, extortion

The protesters said they had witnessed worst terrorism from 2007 to 2009 when the militants challenged the state’s writ and caused a lot of bloodshed and fear, taking many people’s lives and destroying businesses and properties, and displacing hundreds of others.

They asked the people if they spotted any suspected element in their areas they must come out of their houses and take action against them. They also asked law enforcement agencies to refrain from registering FIRs against peaceful protesters.

The protesters also questioned the silence of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and the elected representatives over the matter, and demanded that the government take action against terrorists immediately.

Meanwhile, the residents of Kurram tribal district organised another peace walk in Sadda town on Sunday against militancy.

People from all sects and tribes participated in the march. The marchers, carrying white flags, passed through different roads and bazaars of the town.

Earlier, residents of central Kurram had organised a peace walk from Parachamkani to Parachinar.

Mir Afzal Khan Turi, Rafeeullah Chamkani and Tufail Shaheen led the walk. Addressing the participants, they said Kurram valley needed peace and stability.

They said people of Kurram would no more tolerate presence of miscreants in their area. They said six personnel of law enforcement agencies had been martyred or wounded in acts of terrorism during last two weeks.

They said a large number of families had vacated their homes due to lawlessness.

Separately, members of a jirga in Safi tehsil of Mohmand district announced a sit-in outside of Mohmand Rifles gate, against worsening law and order, targeted killing, extortion and enforced disappearances.

The peace march will start from Safi and reach district headquarters, Ghalanai, where the participants would stage a sit-in.

The jirga has requested all the elders, political and religious leaders and students to participate in the protest.

Safi Grand Amn Jirga leader Malik Zahid Khan Safi told mediapersons that the sit-in would be held against extortion, targeted killing and enforced disappearances of tribesmen.

He demanded of the government to ensure immediate recovery of the missing persons.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2022

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