TIRAH: Elders of various Afridi tribe and political leaders on Friday staged a protest and vowed not to allow the security forces to ‘occupy’ their land in the Maidan area of the scenic...
TIRAH: Elders of various Afridi tribe and political leaders on Friday staged a protest and vowed not to allow the security forces to ‘occupy’ their land in the Maidan area of the scenic Tirah valley in the Khyber tribal district.
Addressing a gathering in the Bar Bagh Maidan area in the Tirah valley, they alleged that their precious land and hills in Tirah and Bara had been occupied illegally.
A former federal minister Hameedullah Jan Afridi, Bara Tehsil chairman Mufti Kafeel, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam local chapter chief Shamsuddin Afridi, Jamaat Islami head, Khan Wali Afridi, Khyber Union leader Murad Saqi Afridi, Qambar Qaumi chairman Saeedullah Afridi, journalist and writer Munsif Ali Khan, elders and others were present the occasion.
They said the security forces wanted to establish a camp atop Bhutan Shareef hill in Bar Qambarkhel in the Tirah valley, which was located right in the middle of the population, adding that keeping in mind tribal traditions and customs, such a camp would cause inconvenience to the residents.
“We will help the government and the security forces if they choose a piece of land in the remote areas for the camp purpose,” one of the elders said.
The speakers said the residential homes and picnic spots should be handed back to the owners. They said they are peaceful tribesmen and would never want to harm the peaceful environment in the area.
The speakers said the tribal people had rendered matchless sacrifices during militancy and supported the security forces during those testing times.
They disputed the claim of arresting some miscreants in the area.
The speakers maintained that the government had occupied many hilltops and public property without the consent of the local population. The elders said they have already handed over many important places for establishing camps and checkposts earlier but do not want a camp right in the middle of the population as that would trouble the residents.
They suggested that arrangements should be made in remote areas for establishing camps and the people should be compensated for the lands acquired from them.