BAJAUR: Thousands of people took to streets here on Thursday and pledged to protect the hard-earned peace in the region at all costs.
People from all walks of life including political workers, social activists, traders and youth attended the peace march organised by Bajaur Peace Action Committee, a local alliance of political parties. Tribal elders, traders, social activists and youth participated in the march enthusiastically and demanded restoration of peace in the district.
Holding white flags and placards, the participants of the march chanted slogans in favour of peace and against the fresh wave of terrorism in the region, particularly in the tribal districts. They gathered at about 10am at Dubai Market near Jinnah Bus Terminal.
Awami National Party provincial general secretary Sardar Hussin Babak, chief of National Democratic Movement MNA Mohsin Dawar, Pashtun Tahafuz Movement head Manzoor Pashteen, MPA Nisar Momand and others addressed the rally.
They lauded Bajaur Peace Action Committee, the local leaders and workers of political and religious parties and the residents of the district for arranging the march. They said that the march was necessary to stop the ongoing wave of terrorism in the tribal districts.
Speakers say they will not allow anyone to turn their area into battlefield
They said that such events proved that the residents of entire Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were peace-loving people and wanted prevalence of the hard-earned peace and normalcy in their areas.
The speakers said that peace and normalcy were the foundation of socioeconomic development. They said that that insecurity and uncertainty were the major causes of the backwardness of the tribal districts.
They said that tribal districts had huge reserves of natural resources and hard working residents but the decades-long insurgency severely affected their socioeconomic condition. They said that thousands of residents of tribal districts were killed during the militancy and war against terrorism.
The speakers said that the fresh wave of terrorism heralded a new series of destruction in the entire Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, especially in the tribal districts. However, they said that the people of the province would not allow anyone to turn their areas into “battlefields” as they had very bitter experience of such violence in the past.
Bajaur Peace Action Committee chairmen Maulana Abdur Rasheed, JI district chief Sahibzada Haroon Rasheed, PML-N provincial leader and former MNA Shahabuddin Khan, PPP provincial leader and former MNA Sayed Akhunzada Chattan, ANP local chapter president Gul Afzal Khan, religious scholar Maulana Khanzeb, Sheikh Janzada, Maulana Waheed Gul, Malik Shaheen Khan, Malik Bahadur Shah, PPP district president Haji Sher Bahadar, Malik Sultanzeb, Malik Khalid Khan and Advocate Najibullah Khan also spoke on the occasion.
They said that the people of Bajaur were committed to protecting peace of their area. They said that peace was restored in the area with the sacrifices of local elders and security forces.
They said that their struggle for the restoration of exemplary peace in the district would continue. They added peace was the need of every citizen of the region.
Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2023