SWAT: A peace jirga of Malakand division here on Sunday unanimously approved a resolution, demanding the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to remove Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif from his post as he was ‘an accomplice of terrorists’.
It added that the remarks of special assistant to the chief minister Barrister Saif about Awami National Party leader Sardar Hussain Babak attested that he (Saif) was representing terrorists.
The grand jirga session was organised by the Swat Qaumi Jirga in Wadudia Hall of Saidu Sharif here.
Elders and politicians from Malakand division said on the occasion that they would never tolerate any sort of terrorism in any of the districts, stressing it was the constitutional responsibility of the state to ensure durable peace in the region.
Elders, politicians say terrorists won’t be allowed to enter any part of the region
Political leaders, elders, environmental experts, representatives of traders’ federations and hotel associations, lawyers and activists from Swat, Buner, Shangla, Upper Dir, Lower Dir and Malakand districts addressed the jirga.
Prominent among them were Mutawakil Khan of ANP Shangla district, Akhtar Ali Khan of JI Swat, Syed Layeq Bacha of Buner Qaumi Jirga, Jehan Alam Khan, Malak Jahangir Khan and Malak Behram Khan of Dir districts, Irfan Hayat Chattan of PPP Swat, Qari Mehmood of JUI-F, Mukhtiyar Yousafzai of Swat Qaumi Jirga, Sadiq Aziz of PML-N, Haji Zahid Khan, Ijaz Khan of Malakand district, Sher Bahadar of QWP, Hussain Shah, Ayoub Asharey, Dr Khalid Mahmood and other elders.
The speakers said that over 10 million people lived in Malakand division and everybody were aware of the reality of the terrorists and as such they could no more be deceived by any elements to sabotage peace.
“We have already experienced the ugly phase of terrorism and have seen those behind it here. The state must provide security to the people of Malakand division,” they said and added that no compromise would be made on peace in the region.
They said if the state failed to provide security to the residents then the people of Malakand would devise their own plan for own safety.
The speakers claimed that the provincial government had not consulted environmental experts before planning the second phase of Swat Expressway.
“As per the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, a proper survey must be conducted before initiation of a project, but in case of Swat Expressway phase-II the KP government has ignored it,” they said.
Agriculture and environment experts claimed that construction of the recently-launched expressway would be an environmental catastrophe in the narrow valley that would result in natural calamities like floods, affecting the people and natural beauty of the area.
“We suggest that the existing roads on both sides of the Swat River be expanded and modified rather than constructing new roads. There is an urgent need to erect a new road on the eastern side of the river from Madyan to Kalam to ease traffic flow,” said Fazal Maula Zahid, an agricultural expert.
The speakers said the expressway would deprive thousands of people of their houses and farmland, creating financial problems for them.
The participants from Malakand and Dir said the government should redesign the expressway along the Swat River otherwise the people would block the road from Chakdara to all the districts of Malakand.
The jirga members said they would not allow the government to impose tax in Malakand division. They said that under Article 247-A of the Constitution the special status of Malakand division could not be abolished.
They said the KP government should refrain from acquiring land forcibly from the local people under the pretext of tourism development. They, however, said the people could give their land on lease for establishing new tourist spots.
They announced to launch a joint movement under the Malakand Qaumi Jirga for durable peace in the division.
Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2022