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Protests continue against attack on Malala

October 13, 2012

MINGORA/PESHAWAR, Oct 13: Hundreds of people took to streets in Migora on Saturday on the call of Swat Peace Jirga to protest attemp on the life of Malala Yousufzai.

They protesters demanded early arrest of the attackers and exemplary punishment to them. The call for protest was given by leaders of Swat Peace Jirga during a press conference a couple of days ago.

The protesters, after passing through various road, gathered in front of Swat Press Club where Mukhtar Khan Yousufzai, Khurshid Kakaji, Malak Raiz Ahmed Khan, Syed Kamal Shah, Sher Shah Khan, Mohammad Shabir Khan, Khwaja Khan, Mohammad Ali Khan and Ahmed Shaha Khan adressd them.

The speakers said that they would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the affected families. They also criticised government for its failure to control incidents of target killing in the valley. They demanded protection to those people, who were on the hit list of militants.

They expressed satisfaction over the reaction to the attack at national and international levels. They said that the people of Swat would frustrate every attempt of violence and support peace and tranquility.

Shazia and Kainat, two other schoolmates of Malala, were also injured in the attack.

Meanhile, Nekpikhel Peace Jirga in Swat also condemned the attack on Malala and termed it a cowardly act.

Addressing a press conference, the jiga chairman Saifullah Khan vowed to resist militants by taking a unified stand. He called upon the people of Swat to stand against militants.

In Peshawar, the members of civil society continued to stage protest rallies and camps on the third consecutive day here on Saturday to condemn attack on Malala Yousufzai and other students.

They set up a protest camp along Sher Shah Soori Road where they displayed banners and placards inscribed with different slogans.

The participants of the camp expressed grave concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas. They asked the government to ensure protection to the innocent people and take drastic steps for arrest of the culprits.

The participants of the camp decided that delegations of civil society organisations would meet Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Barrister Masood Kausar and Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti to apprise them of threats to rightist activists, mediapersons and workers of NGos.

They said that the delegations would contact federal government and military officials if provincial government failed to satisfy them. An application would be forwarded to the international community if they failed to get any positive response from the authorities, they added.

The protesters said that civil society was supporting government’s initiatives but they were not allowed to work in Fata. They were citizens of the country and taking steps in accordance with the law but even then problems were created for them, they alleged.

A number of political activists, representatives of lawyers and labourers visited the camp and expressed sympathies with the injured students. Prominent among the participants were Idrees Kamal of Amn Tehrik, Arshad Haroon, Maryam Bibi of Khwendo Kor, Peshawar Bar Association president Wakeel Zaman Khattak and Advocate Rahim Shah, Wapda Hydro Union leaders Gohar Taj and Mustajab Khan, Aurat Foundation’s Shabeena Ayaz, Saima and Sherin Javed, Tribal NGOs’ representatives Kishwar Ali, Zar Ali Khan, Manzoor Afridi and Ijaz Afridi and Rakhshanda Naz of Women Action Forum.

The participants of the camp demanded of the government to ensure free of cost treatment of Shazia and Kainat and provide protection to people.