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Swat jirga to launch drive against target killings

October 11, 2012


MINGORA, Oct 10:  Terming attack on Malala Yousufzai and her schoolmates as a cowardly act, the Swat Peace Jirga said that a protest campaign would be launched against what it called increase in incidents of target killing in the valley.

Addressing a hurriedly-called press conference here on Wednesday, the jirga members including Mukhtiar Yousafzai, Riaz Khan, Mohamad Sherin Khan, Alhaj Zahid Khan, Sher Shah Khan, Khursheed Kakaji, Mohammad Ali Khan and Khwaja Mohammad Khan said that Malala was the daughter of Swat and attack on her was an attack on the whole Swat valley.

They termed the bid as a coward act, saying attack on a young girl was in violation of injunctions of Islam and Pakhtun norms and values. The jirga members also criticised Swat administration for its failure to provide security to residents. They said that the administration was unable to protect the lives of people.

They also condemned government for its failure to arrest the people involved in attacks on leaders of the peace committee. They said that a meeting of the jirga would be held soon to decide future line of action.

Meanwhile, like other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and rest of the country, the people of Swat staged protest rallies against attack on Malala Yousafzai and demanded early arrest of the assailants and exemplary punishment to them.

Special prayers were offered for early recovery of the Malala at different gatherings held in the district. Thousands of political activists, students, civil society members and social worked participated in the gatherings. In this regard, a protest rally was organised by Awami National Party outside Swat Press Club that was addressed by Abdullah Yousufzai, Fazl Mabood Babo, Syed Wakeel Ahmed and Khan Sardar.

They termed the attack on the daughter of the nation as a coward act. A handful of misguided people would not be allowed to go scot-free and disturb peace in the valley.

Several other protest rallies were also staged by activists of various youth organisations. Carrying banners and placards, the protesters were demanding arrest of the attackers.

A rally was jointly organised by Optimistic Youth Network, Aini Video Youth Forum and The Awakening, an NGO. The participants of the rally were chanting slogans in favour of Malala and peace in the region.

Iftikhar, Yasin Akbar, Shan Khan, Fazl Maula, Amad and Kaleemullah addressed the rally.

Pakhtun Students Federation also held a protest in front of the press club that was addressed by its local Haider Ali Shah. Hundreds of students participated in the rally.

In Karak, Takht-i-Nusrati Bar Association held an emergency meeting to condemn attempt on the life of Malala Yousafzai.

The president of the association, Naimatullah, termed the attack a cowardly act and showed solidarity with the family of Malala. He demanded of the government to arrest the attackers and award them exemplary punishment. He said that the attackers revealed their real faces.

In Chrsadda, the students of government college for girls held a gathering to pay homage to Mala Yousufzai and condemn attack on her life. The teachers and students of the college attended the gathering. They demanded arrest of attackers. They said that the attack was meant to disturb peace in Swat.