Three human rights activists released in South Waziristan

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PESHAWAR: In the wake of tremendous pressure through social media, political administration of South Waziristan Wednesday announced the release of three ‘human rights’ activists.

All three of the activists belong to different parts of the Mehsud tribesmen dominated areas of South Waziristan, and played a key role in a demonstration at Dera Ismail (DI) Khan a couple of days back against the failure of civil administration and security forces in defusing land mines.

According to details, the activists named Manzoor Ahmad Pashteen, Jamal Malyar and Shah Faisal, were disembarked from a vehicle at security forces check post at Barwand, near Ladha, on Tuesday. They were reportedly coming back to DI Khan after celebrating Eidul Azha with their relatives in their native villages.

The news of the arrest/detention of the human rights defenders spread like jungle fire. In reaction, the tribesmen residing in DI Khan and Tank not only denounced the action of the administration in strong words, they also called for arranging a protest demonstration. Likewise, Tribal NGO’s Consortium Chairman Zar Ali Khan Afridi also threatened similar protests in Peshawar and Islamabad.

South Waziristan Additional Political Agent Mohammad Ashfaq through a message on Wednesday informed media that both Jamal Malyar and Shah Faisal have been allowed to go whereas Manzoor Ahmad is going through a brief investigation, and will be released soon. Later in the afternoon, the officer concerned confirmed the release of all three of them saying that “they were stopped just for a conversation.”

According to the consortium chairman, 39 incidents of mines explosions occurred in recent months in different parts of South Waziristan, particularly in Ladha Tehsil, resulting in 11 children being killed and 57 were seriously injured. Majority of the injured were disabled now and almost all of the victims belonged to families which were economically dependent upon on livestock.

The armed forces launched a military operation Raah-e-Nijat against militants of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan in 2009, and though the military action was concluded in 2010, the displaced Mehsud tribesmen were reluctant to be repatriated. The government in April last year announced the completion of the process of repatriation of the displaced Mehsud tribesmen to South Waziristan.