Member National Assembly (MNA) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) spokesperson, Ayesha Gulalai, has raised questions as to why Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not take the Parliament into confidence before launching a military operation in North Waziristan Agency (NWA).
Gulalai said the unannounced operation will have repercussions over the settled areas as well as on any peace deals that have been signed. She added women and children of the agency are stranded, while some have moved to Afghanistan to take shelter after curfew has been imposed in the area.
While holding a meeting with tribal elders from NWA, Gulalai was informed of the problems being faced by residents due to the military operation and air strikes in the agency.
“It had been decided that dialogue should be held before going for a military operation,” said Gulalai while talking to the media afterwards. “We are shocked that the prime minister gave a green signal for the military operation before even holding the peace talks.”
The MNA said the matter should be dealt with according to the decision taken during the all parties’ conference. Gulalai added the armed forces have already laid down countless sacrifices to safeguard the nation and they were deeply sorrowed by the recent attack on them.
Gulalai demanded the government to immediately stop the operation and pointed out that attacks on the government and civilians had markedly reduced when the peace talks were initiated. “If the federal government does not take any action to end the miseries of tribesmen, I will hold a protest with them in Bannu,” she said. “The camps are already filled with displaced persons; this operation will only result in displacing more tribesmen.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2014.
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