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June 23, 2021

Janikhel sit-in protesters vow to march towards Islamabad

 
June 23, 2021

BANNU: After failure of talks with the civil and military officials, the protesting residents of the Janikhel area on Tuesday decided to march towards Islamabad along with the body of Malik Naseeb, who was killed about 25 days ago.

The Janikhel residents, who have been protesting for the last many days against the incidents of target killings in the district, announced that they along with the body of the slain elder would leave for Islamabad to stage sit-in in the federal capital.

The protesters have arranged food stuffs, medicines and other necessary items and heavy machinery to remove hurdles during the journey on the way to Islamabad.

The organisers have constituted three teams to lead the protesters. The elders of the Janikhel tribe would also impose a heavy fine in case the set rules for the sit-in were violated. On the other hand, the district administration has also called out more police personnel from Bannu and adjoining districts to cope with the situation.

The police have blocked all the roads leading to the federal capital by placing containers at various points, including Tochi, Lora and Kangar bridges and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project road at Kaki.

The Janikhel tribesmen had staged a protest when the bodies of four teenagers were found. The killings had prompted the locals to stage a march towards Islamabad along with the bodies. However, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government signed a settlement with them.

In the eight-point agreement, the government had promised to provide compensation to the families of the slain youths, bring the perpetrators to justice and take steps to maintain law and order to avoid the occurrence of such incidents. However, the protesters complained that the killings continued unabated and the promises made under the agreement mostly remained unfulfilled.

Meanwhile, members of the Ahmadzai Wazir jirga have also pledged support to the Janikhel sit-in. It may be mentioned that the protesters had earlier announced to march towards Islamabad along with the body of Malik Naseeb but it was postponed on the request of provincial Minister for Transport Malik Shah Mohammad Khan and his brother Gulbaz Khan.

They had sought three days’ time from the protesters. However, nobody from the government had then bothered to approach the protesting residents and help redress their grievances.