Relatives of eight abducted FATA Development Authority (FDA) officials have urged the federal government, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and Governor Zafar Iqbal Jhagra to ensure their safe release. Nine FDA workers were abducted on March 10 in South Waziristan Agency.
The demand was put forward during a news conference at Peshawar Press Club on Tuesday.
The relatives of eight FDA officials said they had no option but to take to the streets to have their grievances addressed. Speakers threatened to hold a sit-in outside Governor House if their relatives failed to return safely.
Ayub Khan, a speaker at the conference, told journalists he received phone calls from Afghanistan and was asked to cough up Rs300 million for the release of his relative.
“The relatives of the FDA workers belong to underprivileged families and cannot afford to pay the amount demanded by militants,”
According to Ayub, FDA had assured them that the political agent will support them in their time of need and arrange a jirga. He added the political agent had also vowed to ensure their loved ones are released.
“But little has been done so far,” he said.
Amjid Ali, a resident of Bannu, said his brother was also among the kidnapped officials. He said his brother is a heart patient and cannot be exposed to stressful environments.
He urged the federal and provincial governments as well as the army chief to ensure the release of their relatives.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2016.