Civilian casualties: Tribesmen end protest, list out demands before jirga

Published: January 20, 2013

Hundreds of tribesmen had gathered in Mir Ali Bazaar to protest the killing of five people by performing a local dance Wazir Attan. PHOTO: FILE

MIRAMSHAH: 

Tribesmen in Mir Ali wound up their protest on Saturday with the precondition that their four-point charter of demands – already submitted to a grand peace jirga of North Waziristan – is enforced by the government within five days.

On Friday, hundreds of tribesmen gathered in the Mir Ali Bazaar from around the agency to protest the killing of five people in Thursday’s shelling by performing a local dance Wazir Attan.

During the protest, the tribesmen demanded an inquiry into the killings and closed all the business activities and educational institutions to observe three-day mourning. The tribesmen agreed to end their protest on the jirga’s assurance that it would forward their demands to the government.

The charter was put forward by tribal elders Malik Akbar Khan, Malik Sualeh Jan, Maulvi Abbas, Maulvi Muhammad Daud and other tribal elders to Aman Jirga members Malik Raees Khan, Malik Jehan Faraz Khan and Malik Sarfaraz.

According to Malik Safaraz, the document sought an explanation within five days from the government about why people were “targeted, attacked and killed”.

It also demanded a formal apology for the actions.

The third point of the charter was that the government should offer compensation worth Rs0.6 million to each of the bereaved families and Rs0.1 million for the injured.

Earlier, the government used to pay Rs0.3 million in compensation to the victims which was lowered to Rs0.1 million.

The final demand of the tribesmen was that the government should give them surety that in future it would not pound residential areas without any evidence.

Sarfaraz said that after negotiating with the families of the victims and assuring them of the fulfilment of their demands the tribesmen in the tehsil ended their protest and opened shops in the bazaar.

He added that the jirga assured the tribesmen that it would present their demands before the government and try to ensure that these are met.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2013.

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