SWAT: The Swat Qaumi Jirga on Sunday reiterated its demand for the arrests of those responsible for the attempt on the life of one of its leaders.
However, in a statement issued during a news conference on Sunday, the jirga gave an unusual warning to the government, maintaining that it will boycott Independence Day celebrations this year if the assailants are not arrested till August 13.
The statement came after an attack on a key member of the Swat Qaumi Jirga, Haji Zahid Khan, which left him wounded.
“The attack was not on just an attempt on the life of an individual but on the life of all people of Swat,” said a jirga spokesperson.
He claimed that the attack was part of “a chain of target killings in which some hidden forces want to eliminate the peace-loving elders of Swat”.
The jirga members criticised law-enforcement agencies for failing to arrest the culprits and questioned their claims of ensuring peace and security in the area.
They demanded the government to impose a ban on all terrorist organisations in the county, such as Jesh Muhammad and Lashkar-e- Taiba. They observed that security of citizens is the responsibility of the state and its institutions, but if they cannot fulfil that responsibility then they have no right to govern.
The jirga members urged the Supreme Court to take suo-moto notice and form a judicial commission to probe the incident.
Khan was reportedly attacked and critically injured while he was on his way home after offering Isha prayer near the General Bus Stand in Mingora. He is under treatment at the Lady Reading hospital Peshawar where his condition is said to be out of danger.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2012.