Jirga leaders to meet PM today as protest continues

  • Protesters postpone march towards Parliament House 
  • Sherpao says he won’t rest until Rao Anwar is arrested
  • Protesters hurl shoes, bottles at PPP’s  Fida Paracha 

ISLAMABAD: Advisor to Prime Minister (PM) Ameer Muqam met the participants of Pakhtun sit-in and said that their demands were rightful, and informed that a meeting between Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and protesters to discuss the matter will take place today.

In a late night development, the leaders of the protest decided to postpone their march towards the Parliament House and develop their strategy accordingly after the meeting with the prime minister.

Muqam, accompanied by Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, visited the peaceful sit-in in front of National Press Club (NPC) in Islamabad as it entered the fifth day on Monday to protest the extra-judicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud at the hands of Sindh police in Karachi.

The participants of the sit-in have refused to budge from their stated position until the government accepts their “five-point charter of demand” and arrest wanted Malir SSP Rao Anwar, besides ensuring the rule of law in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

Anwar is wanted to the authorities for the extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah, a 27-year-old native of Waziristan who was killed along with three others in a fake encounter in Karachi’s Shah Latif town on January 13.

On Monday, Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) Chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao also addressed a press conference outside NPC and said that he will not be at rest until absconding cop Rao Anwar is arrested.

“I won’t be at peace until Rao Anwar is arrested,” Sherpao said, adding that Anwar remains at large after injustice was done to Naqeeb. He added that he fails to understand the present government’s performance in Naqeebullah’s case.

“The story of a handsome young man surfaced before us. Thousands of youth, men and women fall prey to extrajudicial killings,” said the QWP chairman.

On the other hand, the participants of the sit-in showered Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Amir Fida Parachi with shoes and empty bottles and barred him from talking on the stage.

According to details, when the PPP leader Fida Paracha reached the sit-in, he faced an embarrassing situation as the participants took him with a shower of shoes and bottles and did not allow him to speak to the protesters. The PPP leader told the protesters that he came there carrying a message of party leader, however, people did not hear his words and started chanting slogans of ‘shame, shame’.

Protesters lashing PPP Co-chairman Asif Zardari said that they do not need his sympathy, on which Fida Paracha returned without addressing protesters.

The protest sit-in began on Thursday in the form of a rally from Dera Ismail Khan and culminated in a sit-in outside National Press Club, Islamabad. The protesters include residents of DI Khan, FATA and other areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as Islamabad.

The five-point charter of the protesters demands Rao Anwar and his network involved in the extra-judicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud to be “apprehended and hanged”. They demand that a judicial commission under the supervision of the chief justice of Pakistan should be set up to investigate the extra-judicial killings of Pashtuns in Karachi, FATA and other parts of the country.

Their third demand is that the missing persons, especially from FATA, should be brought before the court of law and those who are innocent should be freed.

The fourth demand is that the law enforcement agencies often resort to indiscriminate and disproportionate measures like using violence, abduction and imposing curfew in the FATA, particularly Waziristan, after minor incidents in the region, which should be halted forthwith and all such actions should be taken after a thorough investigation.

The fifth demand of the protesters is that FATA should be cleared off mines immediately to avert further loss of life due to landmines.