PESHAWAR, Dec 31: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) on Monday demanded an immediate end to the security forces’ offensive in Khyber Agency, saying innocent people were being killed in the name of action against militants.

It also called for early return of internally displaced persons to the agency after the end to the action.

JUI-F, Khyber Agency senior vice president Haji Shamsuddin Afridi told a news conference at Peshawar Press Club that the major victims of the operation were innocent children and women.

He claimed that jetfighters recently bombed Sarokha area in Tirrah valley killing 14 innocent people, including women and children.

“The people of Sarokha are patriotic but even then, jetfighters targeted two houses of local businessman Anar Gul, killing 14 people and injuring 10. There was no militant among those killed,” he said.

Mr Afridi asked the government to stop bloodshed in the agency and announce financial package for the people’s welfare so that they could return to their homes to begin normal life.

He held Pakistan People’s Party and Awami National Party responsible for bloodshed in Khyber Agency, saying they failed to end the operation.

The JUI-F leader said those, who demanded military operation in tribal areas, were in fact wanted to sabotage JUI-F-formed peace jirga.

“Jirga is the only platform to resolve the tribesmen’s issues and restore peace in Fata,” he said.

Mr Afridi criticised the national and international human rights organisations for ignoring the rights of the tribal people and killings of innocent tribesmen in different agencies.

He said the political administrations of Kurram and Khyber agencies had besieged the population of Sarokha as they were not allowing vehicles with consumer goods to enter the area.

“Only 15 vehicles have been given permission to enter the area. The goods transported by them are unable to cater to the area demands,” he said.

The JUI-F leader appealed to President Asif Zardari and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masood Kausar to step in and ensure end to shelling by jetfighters in the agency so that the people could return to villages.

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