LANDIKOTAL: Hundreds of men, women and children belonging to the Mullagori tribe staged protest Wednesday against alleged embezzlement of funds and seized 13 trucks loaded with smuggled goods.
During the protest, the Jamrud-Mullagori road remained closed from around 7:00am till 2:30pm but later the route was opened for light vehicles.The protesters carrying banners and placards chanted slogans against the Khyber Agency administration and their Member National Assembly (MNA) from National Assembly constituency NA-45 Noorul Haq Qadri.
The protesters said the political administration was giving the funds to only two elders who are reportedly the supporters of the MNA. The protesters stopped construction work on the 17-kilometre road in Mullagori and took 13 trucks laden with smuggled goods into their possession.
The smuggled goods are usually shifted from Torkham border via Landikotal-Shalman-Mullagori route and stored at godowns in Jamrud. Sources said the trucks seized by the protesters carried auto spare parts, imported cloth, teabags and timber worth millions of rupees.
A protester, Sabz Ali, said two pro-administration elders, who are also the supporters of the MNA, were being given funds and other privileges but the other Mullagori tribespersons were being deprived of their rights.
He said several complaints were lodged at the office of the assistant political agent Jamrud to find solution to problems, including loadshedding, shortage of drinking water and dilapidated roads, but to no avail. He said they would stage protest outside the Parliament House in Islamabad if the government did not take action against the mentioned elders. The road was reopened to traffic after a jirga of political administration in Jamrud assured the protesters that their problems would be solved.