North Waziristan tribes announce long march to Islamabad over drone strikes

Published: January 31, 2012

Tribal elders from North Waziristan vow to stage a long march from Miranshah to Islamabad against drone strikes.

PESHAWAR: Reacting to US President Barack Obama’s admission of drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal belt, elders from North Waziristan have announced a long march from the tribal belt to the Parliament House in Islamabad on February 25.

Addressing a joint press conference at the Peshawar Press Club, elders from different tribes of North Waziristan condemned President Obama’s drone programme. They termed the strikes as a “massacre of the innocent,” and announced their plan to stage a sit in before the Parliament House.

Amongst the elders were Malik Jalal, Malik Ghulam Khan, Malik Gulshah Alam and Malik Fareed. They belonged to the Dawar, and Ahmedzai Wazir tribes of North Waziristan.

Malik Jalal Waziristani, claimed that the drones only targeted areas where there was no writ of the government. While Malik Ghulam Khan argued that innocent people were killed in drone strikes.  “We have approached the government and political parties, but there seems to be no end to this,” he said.

They announced their intention to stage a long march from Miranshah in North Waziristan to the federal capital. “We will make important announcements there,” promised the elders.

They said members from political parties, the civil society and students are expected to join the long March which will march first from Miranshah to Bannu, Bannu to Peshawar and ultimately on to Islamabad.

The tribesman challenged the claim that there were ‘foreigners’ in the tribal areas. They said that the drone campaign has made their lives extremely difficult. “Innocent people have been massacred for the last ten years,” they said.

Reader Comments (24)

  • Hafeez
    Jan 31, 2012 - 11:13PM

    Why does the announcement for a long march have to coincide with Pak Govt’s condemnation? These strikes are happening since last 7 or 8 years. People were getting killed all this time and no protests from Waziristan.

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  • ali
    Jan 31, 2012 - 11:38PM

    Plz cut the budget of the air force if it cannot shoot down the terrorist American drones.

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  • shazada zahid mahmoud loan
    Jan 31, 2012 - 11:40PM

    It is never too late to bring to the world attention the massacres going in North Wazirstan. These massacres have not been sanction by UN Security Council nor have they any legal basis, except the agreement made by the villain (dictator) Mr Musharaf under duress. There is at the same time no treaty or agreement agreed by the rubber stamp Pakistani assembly – although there does exist a tacit collusion between the PPP. The political parties, including the religious parties, have been totally silent about this. What is needed is to do a tally count of the death of civilians and present it to the International court of Justice at The Hague so the Americans and the Pakistani collaborators could be tried for war crimes. The other question is what is the Pakistani military doing? Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jan 31, 2012 - 11:50PM

    Took you ten years? Martin Luther King or Gandhi you ain’t. While your doing your sit in please take the time to explain why Pakistani troops need your permission to enter your domain or why your tribesmen seem to be in a perpetual state of war with Pakistan.

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  • John B
    Jan 31, 2012 - 11:57PM

    When was the last time these tribal leaders planned a march when Taliban was killing everyone inside and outside of Pakistan.

    So, after all the marches by other parties, N. Waziristan party is being formed in the name of drones to show their political strength and every PAK political party will cater to them . Who will form a coalition with them will be interesting to watch. Recommend

  • Shakky
    Feb 1, 2012 - 12:39AM

    They can march all the way to Islamabad to protest drone strikes but they can’t march to the village next door to prevent suicide bombings and attacks against the Pakistan army. They have the will to complain about drones killing innocent bystanders, but they don’t have the courage to apologize to the countless victims of Taliban attacks. The word “tribal hypocrites” comes to mind.

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  • Basit Khan
    Feb 1, 2012 - 12:57AM

    Oh really ? And no march when militants based in Waziristan play havoc in Afghanistan and Pakistan ?

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  • Feb 1, 2012 - 1:02AM

    @John B:
    U were the one who kept insisting that people of FATA support drone attacks, Do u still believe???

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  • Lady gaga
    Feb 1, 2012 - 1:50AM

    What a joke, why dont these people do a long march against the terrorist activities of the pak taliban

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  • Rafaqat
    Feb 1, 2012 - 1:51AM

    Tribal elders dont really need to bother a long march at all. Did they seriously believe that inviting international terrorists from Middle east and Central asia had no consequences ?
    If tribals want Govt help, they first need to clean their act and reject the militants. Until then, I personally don’t care however many long marches they do.

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  • Pleasego
    Feb 1, 2012 - 2:05AM

    Great stuff!, hope they take over.

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  • Feb 1, 2012 - 2:43AM

    Drone should be stop, otherwise Imran Khan should have join Fata people.

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  • Amjad
    Feb 1, 2012 - 4:35AM

    These hypocrites will never long march against suicide bombings killing thousand of innocent pakistanis but will only long march when the killers are killed by drones.

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  • faraz
    Feb 1, 2012 - 5:35AM

    Taliban are our strategic assets so army wont expel them, US wants to kill Taliban, and Taliban are ideological fanatics who wont lay down arms; tribals are stuck between these three. They are the real victims of terrorism and anti terrorism efforts

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  • Basit
    Feb 1, 2012 - 10:37AM

    How’s this for a “leak” – Gen. Petraeus, current CIA director is meeting with jihadi leaders for peace deals. Where’s the outrage?

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  • yusufzai
    Feb 1, 2012 - 12:42PM

    Everyone here is calling tribesmen cowards and hypocrites which I think is absurd.If these drones are rained over,say Lahore,Karachi and Islamabad then they will be breach of our sovereignty despite legitimate al-qaeda and Taliban hideout.All people will be out on the streets.Similarly, if these drones hit targets in the neighborhood of these courageous and truthful persons on this forum,it will be icing on the cake. It is very easy to comment on things in your drawing rooms away from the actual scene,esp. if the news is also filtered and tailored to suitable purpose.
    As for as foreign terrorists in tribal areas ,these people came here through proper channels in 80′s with approval from our government,army and ISI.No one asked the tribal people in this regards.Some tribal elders questioned this strategy then ,were killed subsequently.
    I think Tribal people are just for sacrifice.Whenever Pakistan needs men to fight ,they are forwarded but when enjoying the fruits comes then there is no share for Tribal people.

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  • antanu g
    Feb 1, 2012 - 1:04PM

    @ali:
    your gov dont have the guts to react…how would army independently take this action…why blame army?

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  • antanu g
    Feb 1, 2012 - 1:06PM

    @faraz:
    yes…strategic assets for both US and Pak…both would not be where they are today…why single out Pak only Mr.Faraz (an alias ofcourse)

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  • Feb 1, 2012 - 1:20PM

    First let the federal government rule your land and then talk about going to Islamabad. It will take one week for Islamabad local government to clean the rubbish you create there.

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  • Pakistani
    Feb 4, 2012 - 8:20AM

    We are with our Pakistanis tribal bethrens.

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  • Mard-e-Haq
    Feb 23, 2012 - 12:03PM

    They are running away from Waziristan instead of defending it.

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  • Adnan
    Feb 23, 2012 - 12:36PM

    @Shakky:
    For your kind information, they are already fighting with Taliba. Don’t you read the newspaper many times I have seen that scorers of people died against fighting with Taliban. These elders are from the militia formed by the Army & govt to fight with Taliban and other militants.

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  • Moeed
    Feb 23, 2012 - 12:50PM

    They should go on a Hunger-Strike. Don’t eat or drink anything until the US stops drone strikes ! That will teach the Americans a lesson they will never forget !!

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  • Mar 29, 2012 - 5:49PM

    Despite the resolution passed in the parliament against the drones, still Pakistan is getting attacked, this is highly unacceptable in a democratic environment. US government should review their policies.

    Owais

    http://syedowais.blogspot.com/

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