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August 19, 2019

Tribal elders piqued by chief secretary’s remarks


August 19, 2019

JAMRUD: The tribal elders from Khyber district on Sunday asked the prime minister to order the transfer of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary for passing uncalled for remarks against the tribespeople.

The tribal elders had earlier walked out of a function organized in the Shakas area in Jamrud tehsil in connection with the launching of a tree plantation campaign. Chief Secretary Saleem Khan had inaugurated the campaign.

Speaking at a press conference, Malik Faizullah Jan, Malik Israr, Malik Abdul Razzaq, Malik Salahuddin and others said that Chief Secretary Saleem Khan used indecent words for the tribal people at the event. They said the remarks had hurt the people of the tribal district who rendered matchless sacrifices for the restoration of peace. “The authorities should recognise our sacrifices instead of using such provocative words,” said Malik Faizullah Jan. The elders said the chief secretary should tender unconditional apology for uttering derogatory comments about the tribal people.

One government official said the chief secretary didn’t make any indecent remarks. “The chief secretary was talking about the sacrifices of the tribal people and explaining the prevailing situation when the elders staged the walkout,” said the official. However, tribal elders maintained that the chief secretary used the word “animal” in his speech. Officials noted that the chief secretary said the tribal people were ignored and maltreated in the past, but the merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had opened new opportunities for development for the tribespeople. In video footage that went viral, the elders sitting in the front rows are seen leaving the venue of the function. Some of them are heard saying that the tribal people played a key role in the independence of Pakistan. Officials are seen trying unsuccessfully to stop the elders from leaving.

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