Thousands pour onto streets demanding restoration of durable peace in KP

Published February 6, 2023
A large number of people attend a peace rally in Safi tehsil, Mohmand tribal district, on Sunday. — Dawn
A large number of people attend a peace rally in Safi tehsil, Mohmand tribal district, on Sunday. — Dawn

MOHMAND: Thousands of people poured onto the roads for the third day on Sunday in different towns of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, condemning the brutal attack on the Malik Saad Shaheed Police Lines in Peshawar and resurgence of militancy in the province.

The peace rallies were held in Mohmand, Malakand, Lakki Marwat and other areas under the slogan of Ulasi Pasoon (public uprising).

Prominent leaders, who participated in the Mohmand rally, included among others Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leader Manzoor Pashteen and Awami National Party provincial general secretary Sardar Hussain Babak.

The peace marchers were mostly youngsters, who were holding white flags, placards and banners, demanding of the government to eliminate the militancy and ensure sustainable peace.

Rallies held in Mohmand, Lakki and Malakand

A huge contingent of police was deployed to avoid any untoward incident on the occasion.

Addressing the rally, PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen said militancy and worsening law and order situation had affected every segment of society, including children, women, senior citizens and tribal elders. “Workers of every political party have sacrificed their lives during the war imposed on the Pakhtun region,” he said.

He said Pakhtuns were divided under a conspiracy, and urged them to show unity in the larger interest of their community.

“Only in Momand Gat area of the Mohmand tribal district at least three dozen people have been killed,” he said.

The PTM leader urged elders, Maliks and religious scholars to show unity in raising their voice for the recovery of the missing persons.

On the occasion, ANP leader Sardar Hussain Babak said children of tribesmen needed peace in their region and authority over their resources.

“We consider this region as our own and value it like a mother,” Mr Babak said. He demanded of the religious scholars to issue verdict against the ongoing terrorism and killing of innocent people. “Our resources are being looted and our children are dying of hunger,” he said.

He said how did militants crossed over into Pakistan and reached Peshawar after the border with Afghanistan had been fenced and military posts set up along it.

In Lakki Marwat, the local residents took out a peace rally on Sunday.

The rally appeared from Shaheed Abid Ali Chowk and converged at Qazi Ishfaq Chowk on the main bust stand in the Lakki city after marching on Tajazai-Lakki Road.

The participants were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans, highlighting their demands for peace and harmony.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Muhammad Iqbal of PTI, Eng Ihsan, Malik Waqar, Inam Khoidadkhel and Shahid Tajoriwal said residents of the district were peace-loving and they wanted sustainable peace in their area.

They said area people would not allow anyone to destroy peace and use their soil for carrying out anti-state activities.

They said that along with poor law and order, the local residents had to face the brunt of excessive gas and power outages, besides suspension of mobile and internet services had added to their troubles. They said that a pipeline was being laid to supply gas to Punjab, but the local residents were ignored.

The speakers called upon the elders and public representatives to ‘break their silence’ and play role in ending lawlessness and protecting rights of people.

In Malakand, workers of political parties and civil society activists came out on the streets in Batkhela to demand establishment of durable peace on their soil.

The participants carried white flags, banners and placards and marched from Zafar Park to the old bus stand, chanting slogans for restoration of peace.

Jamaat-i-Islami’s former provincial minister Shah Raz Khan, former MNA Bakhtiar Maani, ANP district president Ejaz Khan, former provincial minister Shakeel Khan, Maulana Imran Hilali of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Maulana Javed, PML-N’s city president Ali Mohammad, All Chairmen and Councillor Ittehad president Pir Azmat Shah, Muslim Khan of Pakistan Peoples Party, Sikandar Hayat, Zafar Ali Khan and traders’ union president Zwar Khan also attended the rally.

They said that they couldn’t tolerate any more violence on their land. They said that the state institutions were the guarantors of peace, and as such they should fulfill their responsibility and provide security to the people.

Published in Dawn, February 6th, 2023

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