Tribesmen protest against targeted killings, violence

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PESHAWAR: Tribesmen from different parts of Mirali Tehsil of North Waziristan staged a protest demonstration at Mirali town on Monday to protest against increasing violence in the area, especially targeted killings.

The tribesmen assembled at the ruins of demolished bazaars and markets and then marched towards the offices of assistant political agent and other civil, military officers while chanting slogans against the unjust acts.

Tribal elder Malik Ghulam Dawar told Pakistan Today that tribesmen were facing severe unrest due to regular targeted killing incidents. He said that they abandoned their homes and became Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) for the return of peace, but now upon repatriation, they are once again facing violence. He added that such incidents confirm the presence of anti-social elements in the area and the government needs to fulfill its responsibilities.

Former provincial minister and Awami National Party (ANP) Secretary General Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that the resumption of targeted killing and violent acts is a serious issue and the government needs to realise its responsibilities if it does not want this trend to affect the whole country.

He said that tribesmen from North Waziristan and other tribal regions have suffered a great deal and now they can’t afford further violence.

In a period of less than a month, six target killing incidents have been registered in North Waziristan Agency which includes five in Mirali and one in Miranshah. Whereas, unknown militants blew up two middle schools for girls in two villages of Mirali Tehsil using explosive materials, in addition to threatening to block female students through handwritten letters.

On Sunday, three persons including a teacher in Ziraki and the son of former Member National Assembly (MNA) and leader of Jamiat-ul-Ulema Islam (F) Maulana Deendar was shot dead by unknown militants.

It is pertinent to mention here that most tribesmen from North Waziristan were disarmed by security forces during military action Zarb-e-Azab. When the operation began, tribesmen abandoned their homes and later the security forces collected abandoned arms from these houses.

Neither were the tribesmen allowed to keep their arms while fleeing towards Bannu to take refuge, nor were they allowed to so upon repatriation.