LAKKI MARWAT: Leaders of political parties and rights’ organisations have called upon Pakhtuns to forge unity to stop ‘usurpers from plundering their resources’ and to establish lasting peace on their lands.

They were speaking at a jirga convened by Olasi Aman Pasoon outside the Bannu Press Club on Sunday.

Speakers included ANP’s provincial general secretary Sardar Hussain Babak, Manzoor Pashteen of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement, former district councillor Halimzada Khan, Pir Kamal Shah, Bakht Niaz Sikandari, Malik Shaoib Khan Advocate of PPP, Haji Abdul Samsad Khan, Illauddin Khan, Junaid Rasheed and Nisar Khan Advocate.

They said Pakhtuns were divided and their resources were being usurped under a conspiracy. The speakers said attempts to disrupt peace and create lawlessness in the region were part of this conspiracy, adding unity was inevitable for peace and prosperity in the Pakhtun region.

They said world powers in collaboration with their local helpers had used Pakhtuns’ land for their vested interests, causing bloodshed and heightening miseries of local residents.

The speakers said Pakhtuns didn’t want any more bloodshed on their land and had become tired of collecting bodies of their near and dear ones. They asserted that establishment of peace was the only demand of Pakhtuns and they won’t budge from it.

The speakers said divisions among Pakhtuns could be judged from the fact that when youths from Bannu were murdered, only Banochi tribesmen mourned their killing.

They asked the powers that be to shun toeing US policies as Pakhtuns did not want war on their soil.

They said Pakhtuns would protect their soil from lawlessness and anti-peace elements at all costs.

Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2023

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