Wednesday March 22, 2023

Growing lawlessness: Bannu jirga announces wheel-jam, shutter-down strike

By Our Correspondent
December 09, 2022

BANNU: The Bannu Qaumi Grand Jirga announced complete wheel-jam and shutter-down strike and closure of educational institutions and trade centres for today as the protest sit-in continued against the lawlessness and rising incidents of terrorism for the fifth consecutive day on Thursday.

The local elders, politicians, retired civil servants, lawyers, doctors and social activists while speaking at the jirga cum protest sit-in said that a large number of people from various areas of the Bannu division would come in procession to register their protest against the lawlessness and rising incidents of terrorism and other crimes.

They said that talks with the Bannu Division Commissioner Matiuallah Jan and Deputy Inspector General of Police had failed as he could not give a guarantee to establish writ of the government and restore lasting peace in the area.

They said that the jirga put forth their demands to the senior officials but they did not give a satisfactory reply and demanded time for several weeks, which was turned down.

It may be mentioned that the protest sit-in was launched after three businessmen were kidnapped and killed and their bodies found in Hassokhel village in Mir Ali tehsil in North Waziristan tribal district a few days ago.

The slain three jewellers belonged to Bannu district and they were running a jewellery shop in Mir Ali Bazaar. Unidentified gunmen had kidnapped them at night and later sprayed them with bullets.

The speakers, including National Democratic Movement (NDM) general secretary Nadeem Askar, Malik Shoaib Khan advocate, Malik Shakeel, Dr Pir Sahib Zaman, Nasir Khan Bangash, Ayub Khan advocate and others, said that it was regrettable that government officials cannot give guarantee of restoration of peace.

“Our law-abiding sons are being brutally murdered every day but the government and law enforcing agencies have failed to rein in a handful of criminals and militants,” said a speaker.

The elders said that they cannot tolerate excesses at the hands of criminals and militants and would fight for their rights on every forum.

The elders decided that no in-camera meetings would be held with the officials of district administration and elected public representatives until their demands were met.

The elders said that provision of security to people and property was the prime responsibility of state

The speakers said that they were not ready for any kind of sacrifices in the so-called war on terrorism or to become displaced persons

They vowed that no one would be allowed to play with their lives as they can give a tit-for-tat response to the spoilers of peace.

Locals say unidentified armed men target people who raise their voice for peace or who challenge the presence of armed groups in the area.