PESHAWAR/SWAT: The literati, rights activists and youth have condemned the martyrdom of Pashto poet and deputy superintendent police (DSP) Iqbal Momand in a bomb blast and demanded of the government to ensure the early arrest of killers for punishment as well as effective measures for peace in the province.

They also praised the deceased for promoting peace, love and humanism through his verses.

Mr Momand along with three police personnel was martyred last Thursday when an improvised explosive device went off on the Pirwala Road in Lakki Marwat district.

He was laid to rest the same day in his ancestral graveyard in the Adezai area after funeral prayers, which were offered by poets, writers, elders, notables and other people.

The deceased has six sons, a daughter and a widow.

Literati, rights activists call for effective peace measures

On Saturday, civil society activists, poets and youth staged a rally at Nishat Chowk of Mingora city, Swat, to protest the Lakki Marwat attack as well as acts of terrorism in other parts of the province.

Holding placards and photos of the martyred DSP, they demanded of the government to arrest the killers for strict punishment.

The speakers, including Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party leader Dr Khalid Mahmood, poet and social activist Riaz Ahmad Hairan and poet Musa Khan Akas and others, said Mr Momand’s killing had shocked everyone in the region as they had lost not only a police officer but also a great Pashto poet in him.

Dr Mahmood said terrorists wanted to control Swat and other Pakhtun areas yet again but the residents won’t let that happen.

He demanded the early arrest of culprits for strict punishment.

Young social activist Saad Khan said Pakhtuns knew the “reality” of terrorists and won’t allow their presence on their land.

“We grew up watching this terrorism drama and now fully understand who these terrorists are and where they come from.It’s strange that only Pakhtuns are being targeted by them amid the failure of both provincial and federal governments to ensure their protection,” he said.

Mr Hairan said Mr Mohmand was not an ordinary person and instead, he was a brilliant poet, whose work highlighted all the injustices meted out to Pakhtuns.

“Iqbal Mohmand was the symbol of resistance against terrorists. Through his poetry and actions, he bravely fought against timid terrorists and that’s why he’s directly targeted by them,” he said.

He demanded security for people, including police.

The protesters said they would stand with the police through thick and thin and won’t allow terrorists to disturb peace in Pakhtun areas again.

In the provincial capital, the Pekhawar Olasi Pasoon, a group of rights activists, protested the Lakki IED attack and demanded effective measures for peace in the province.

The protesters gathered outside the press club building carrying placards and shouting slogans against terrorists.

Led by CEO of Mafkoora Hayat Roghani, they lauded contributions of Mr Momand to the cause of Pashto literature and demanded of the government to ensure free education of his children.

The protesters expressed solidarity with the police in the fight against terrorism and called for the award of the President’s Pride of Performance to the deceased.

Rights activist Amin Kundi said the deceased was a true patriot and had tremendous work to his credit as a poet and a police officer.

He said Mr Momand’s poems should be published by the provincial culture directorate.

Meanwhile, poets and writers took to social media to condemn the terrorist attack against the DSP and praised him for promoting peace, love and humanism through his verses.

They also shared on social media the videos of Mr Momand reciting poems in events.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2023

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