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NGO suspends operations over Swabi killings

SWABI, Jan 2: Support With Working Solution (SWWS), a nongovernmental organisation, on Wednesday suspended all its activities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and adjoining tribal areas for three days to mourn the Tuesday killing of its seven aid workers, including six women, near Anbar interchange here.

“We’ve stopped all our activities in Swabi, Swat, Dir, Peshawar, Swabi, DI Khan and South Waziristan in the wake of the Anbar killings for security reasons and will take the future line of action thereafter,” SWWS executive director Javid Akhtar told Dawn.

Mr Akhtar said militant groups had never threatened his NGO and therefore, the management didn’t anticipate attacks against its workers.

He said the NGO’s representatives would shortly meet district coordination officer Syed Mohammad Shah and district police officer Abdul Rashid to discuss security of their workers.

“We have also planned to meet representatives of our donor agencies, mainly Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund and United Nations Fund for Population Activities to learn about their viewpoint on militant attacks and the possible help against them,” he said.

“At present, there is complete silence on the part of donors about future activities. No doubt, the situation is very critical but we hope for positive development,” he said.

Meanwhile, sources said NGO suspends operations over Swabi killing other NGOs operating in Swabi district had also restricted their activities for protection of their workers, especially women.

Some NGO workers told Dawn requesting anonymity that the aid workers’ killing had frightened them and they were confused about continuing to work for their respective organisations.

Also in the day, the slain SWWS workers were buried in their respective areas amid moving scenes.

Amid Ali was laid to rest in Yar Hussain area, Naila Naz in Zaida, Raheela Begum in Manki, Shuhrat Begum in Marghuz, Jamila Begum and Asmat Begum in Jalsai and Lubna in Chota Lahor.

The bodies were earlier autopsied at Bacha Khan Medical Complex.

Meanwhile, injured SWWS driver Abdul Majid at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar is fast getting better, according to his family.

Members of Abdul Majid’s family from Sheikh Dheri area said the driver’s condition was out of danger.

Also in the day, people from different walks of life condemned militant attacks against NGO activists.

They demanded that NGOs and the district administration take measures for the security of aid workers.