Hundreds of youth held a protest rally outside the parliament on Monday against the recent suicide attack in a Parachinar market, said a press release issued by the Youth Association of Parachinar.
Protestors chanted slogans against the government and authorities for their failure to protect the Turi Bangash tribes of Parachinar.
They blamed some elements in the security forces for targetting those who are resisting the terrorists. The youth argued that the people of Parachinar have faced four years of terrorism in which more than 1,500 Turi Bangash tribesmen have been murdered and over 5,000 have been injured. Furthermore, they argued that the Thall Parachinar Road was closed only for anti-Taliban Turi Bangash tribes but opened for both security forces and Taliban fleeing to Orakzai and Waziristan.
When the security of Parachinar and upper Kurram was in the hands of Turi Bangash volunteers serving on check posts, no incident of terrorism or suicide occurred, said a youth at the protest. However, in the three months the army and FC has taken charge of check posts, the action has converted a Parachinar city into a security state, he added. He further maintained that during the summer of 2011 they protested in Islamabad by setting up a protest camp continuously for four months against Taliban brutality. However, civil societies and human rights organisations did not give them due coverage.
Another protester alleged support was now being given to supporters of Difa-e-Pakistan and missing persons, a majority of whom are Taliban and killers of innocent Pakistanis especially Parachinaries. They also threatened to stage a sit-in in front of General Headquarters if their demands were not met.
The protesters demanded that the alleged mastermind of the suicide attack, Taliban Commander Fazal Saeed Haqani should be hanged and given exemplary punishment. They also sought court martial and exemplary punishments for security personnel and FC men who opened fire on protesters and crushed them under tanks.
Enraged protesters demanded the immediate release of the Parachinaries who have been abducted by Taliban especially Qaiser Hussain, an MSc student and two other children who were abducted by Taliban on March 25, 2011 at Bagan Lower Kurram. They also sought the removal of security check posts at Parachinar immediately and deployment of levy force, demanding the establishment of Fata Medical College for Parachinar that was approved by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
“We also want restoration of PIA flights to the area immediately because many injured persons have died due to lack of medical facilities en route to Peshawar,” added Anwar, a protester.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2012.